1st March 2024

World Day of Prayer


I beg you, bear with one another in love

Palestine
Put peace into each other’s hands…

Put peace into each other’s hands…

A prayerful reflection on the opening lines of Fred Kaan’s hymn
by Elaine Barnett

 
Put peace into each other’s hands
And like a treasure hold it

Put peace into each other’s hands.
Put peace – it requires action, Lord.
Prayerful action.
Not just hoping for something,
yearning for something,
even praying for something,
but actively doing something.

And, put peace into each other’s hand, Lord?
But what about my viewpoint and opinion?
Because to put something into someone
else’s hand means
giving it away,
not holding on to what is mine,
letting go.

It might be a bit easier
if I knew I would be giving it to those I know and love,
those I trust.
But what about the ‘other’?
those who are different to me?
those I don’t agree with?
those I’m not sure I can trust?
My thoughts, viewpoint, hopes, prayers – given away.

And as I stand, momentarily empty-handed,
how do I feel?

There is a vulnerability in giving, offering, peace.
Will it be rebuffed? mocked?
Or accepted? welcomed?

Put peace into each other’s hands
And like a treasure hold it

Like a treasure hold it.
A reminder, Lord, that this is something precious,
this gift of peace we give each other.

Having given, can I now recognise its worth?
Can I treasure it?
Indeed, can I even accept it?

That’s not so strange a question as it may seem.
Because, again, it’d be easier from those I know
and love,
those I trust.
But can I receive from the ‘other’?
those who are different to me?
those I don’t agree with?
those I’m not sure I can trust?

Surely one of the most significant parts of the Parable
of the Good Samaritan
lies in the wounded traveller accepting help,
care and provision,
from one of the Samaritans, who were so despised –
very definitely – the ‘other’,
the ‘different’
the ‘I don’t agree with them’
the ‘I never trusted them’.

Giving and receiving peace
requires generosity of spirit,
openness and trust,
as well as the humility to accept.
It’s a precious thing, then!

Lord, grant us grace to
Put peace into each other’s hands
And like a treasure hold it.

Amen