“The Racial Divide in the United States: A Reflection for the World Day of Peace 2015,” is a study-guide is designed to assist parishes, schools, study groups, Small Christian Communities, and others who wish to participate in serious discussions of Bishop Edward K. Braxton’s “The Racial Divide in the United States: A Reflection for the World Day of Peace 2015.” This study-guide should be seen as a flexible resource that can be adapted for use by large or small groups. While the guide is arranged for the participation of members of a group, it can also be used by two people or by an individual. It is for all who, with Christian faith, would like to examine the complex racial divide in our country that is documented in each day’s headlines and the personal experiences of many people. The study-guide will aid you in…
[Jesus said,] “What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!'” Mark 13:37
What am I watching for?
For an opportunity to be kind.
For an opportunity to help someone.
For an opportunity to encourage someone.
For an opportunity to feed the hungry.
For an opportunity to choose peace.
For an opportunity to speak out against violence.
For an opportunity to let go of arrogance.
For an opportunity to show respect to others.
For an opportunity to rejoice in another’s success.
For an opportunity to welcome a stranger.
For an opportunity share my gifts and talents.
For an opportunity to love my neighbor as myself.
El Greco (1541-1614) Pentecostés Óleo sobre lienzo, 275 × 127 cm Madrid, Museo del Prado via Wikimedia Commons
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:21-22
The breath of God, the Spirit of God has entered us through the breath of Jesus, the breath of peace, the breath of forgiveness, the breath of love.
The Spirit enlightens our minds to make the choice to offer peace, forgiveness, and love even when we would rather stay in our anger, resentment, and fear. The Spirit lightens our burdens of illness, grief, and woundedness by nudging us to put our attention on the Lord, on the saving grace of God’s presence and companionship and tender care. The Spirit is our dancing partner, the One who adds joy to the mundane and adventure to the ordinary, the One who directs our creativity and makes each day a new piece of artwork.
Lecture Diagram 10: Proportion and Design of Part of Raphael’s ‘Transfiguration’. Part of the Turner Bequest to the Tate (1856). By Joseph Mallord William Turner [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun
and his clothes became white as light. Matthew 17:1-2
The spiritual mountain treks Jesus leads me on are always in proportion to my trust in God’s movement, my faith in the Spirit’s guidance, and my willingness to be transformed into a more exact icon of God’s love and goodness.
The mountain is usually high; I am almost always breathless, sometimes whiney, often overwhelmed. And God’s silent voice revealing the glory of Jesus is my reward.
It was of [John the Baptist] that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: A voice of one crying out in the desert,
Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths. Matthew 3:3
John the Baptist points the way to Jesus, the Compassion of God, the Prince of Peace. How have I pointed the way to compassion and peace today? Will I make the effort to point the way to compassion and peace tomorrow?