Today’s Bible reading

 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

More thoughts for meditation

“There is a certain kind of dignity we admire, and to which we aspire, in the person who refuses to meet anger with anger, violence with violence, or hatred with hatred.” ― Desmond TutuThe Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World

As we started our week with the reminder to look to our spiritual elders for guidance, we will end with that same reminder. Many of us have been through a lot this year, some are overwhelmed by our politics, and many have been through more personal struggles. Today we are reminding ourselves again, that we are not alone—that others have suffered more than we can imagine and, more importantly, that we have them to look to for inspiration.

When we focus on the people who inspire us, it shifts the focus from hopelessness to faith. We can allow ourselves to be lost in the 24hr wall of news, or we can make the choice to be led by those who have set an example of honor, love and bravery. We can despair or we can hope, but it is our choice.

Suggestions for action

Think of a person who lived and exemplary life of service and take some time out of your day to read or watch a video of that person. If you are having a hard time thinking of one, here are a few: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rigoberta Menchu, Mahatma Gandhi, Corretta Scott King, Oscar Romero, Malala Yousafazai. After you read or listen to the person you have selected, make a plan to carve out some time, and sit in silence with God. When you do this bring the areas of your life which need healing (we all have them). Ask God to meet you and to shine a light on the ways you can use your own struggles to encourage the people around you.

Also, here is a short video Of Desmond Tutu, if you want to learn more about his life and love for God: 

All week we will be praying this prayer (an excerpt from Tutu’s An African Prayer Book), sung at the Caribbean Conference of Christians:

The right hand of God is writing in our land,
Writing with power and with love.
Our conflicts and our fears, our triumphs and our tears
Are recorded by the right hand of God.

The right hand of God is pointing in our land,
Pointing the way we must go.
So clouded is the way, so easily we stray,
But we’re guided by the right hand of God.

The right hand of God is striking in our land,
Striking out at envy, hate and greed.
Our selfishness and lust, our pride and unjust
Are destroyed by the right hand of God.

The right hand of God is lifting in our land,
Lifting the fallen one by one.
Each one is known by name, and rescued now from shame,
By the lifting of the right hand of God.

The right hand of God is healing in our land,
Healing broken bodies, minds and souls,
So wondrous is its touch, with love that means so much,
When we’re healed by the right hand of God.

The right hand of God is planting in our land,
Planting seeds of freedom, hope and love,
In these Caribbean lands, let his people all join hands,
And be one with the right hand of God.