Before we can be Instruments

Lord, make us instruments of Your peace,
But first teach us to recognize the deep turmoil in our own hearts so we can taste and know, first hand, the essence of You, our peace. For we cannot give what we do not know.

Where there is hatred, let Your love increase,
Not just in the world outside, rioting in the streets, but seething in our homes.
The undercurrent of children’s attitudes, the rankling sharp against our own.
Let us see, unblinking, and repent, of our own brokenness. Our own hatred.

Lord, make us instruments of Your peace
Walls of pride and prejudice shall cease
When colors and race, when denominations and persuasions melt in the presence Jesus,
we all are cut of the same cloth. Broken. Needy. Lost without the touch of Peace.
Walls come crashing down when we experience the Redeemer’s touch, mankind, all the same.
All valuable, all needing redemption.

Where there is hatred, we will show Your love, not because we are love,
but because we have tasted You deeply and You have changed us forever.

Where there is injury, we will never judge, not because we won’t be hurt,
because we will.
In this world teaming with mortal flesh, we will hurt by others.
It’s part of life.
But when Peace flows deep in our veins, it takes the barb out of other’s sharp words, and we don’t need to judge. We don’t need to win. It isn’t about us.
Peace has already won.

Where there is striving, we will speak Your peace
To the millions crying for release
We will be Your instruments of peace.
Not because we are the answer, but because we have tasted You deeply.

Where there is blindness, we will pray for sight
Where there is darkness, we will shine his light
Where there is sadness, we will bear their grief
We can offer hope in horrific loss because we too have tasted the bitter cup.
We have been shattered and survived.
We lived to tell the story, the story of Hope in the face of despair.

To the millions crying for relief
We will be Your instruments of peace,
because You sustained us.

In this world, in our churches, and in our homes.
Because we all have sinned, we all have fallen short, You, the Holy God reach into our hearts with Light and Peace.
Not of us, lest we boast.
Lest we scramble for the glory.
Lest we pretend we are the answer.
The counterfeit gospel will tell us we are good enough. That it’s about us.
That if we feel something, it is real. That subtly we must still be in control.

But You are without boundaries, cannot be controlled and manipulated.
You are is like the wind, unseen but flowing over us all.

Freely we have received. Because of that, and only because of that, we can freely give.
We can be instruments of peace because Peace has flooded our hearts.
We can give Peace because we needed it so deeply, and You came.
To our messiest moments, to our deepest triggers, to our most hidden doubts,
You come.

We can be instruments of Peace, because we have tasted You, deep and beyond explanation.
Freely we have received. Because of that, and only because of that, we can freely give.
The mother of Christ and sinner hanging on the cross next to Jesus,
both on equal ground, drinking the depths of Peace, together on common ground.
This is a beautiful place.

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