Peace School This week we'll consider what it means to desire. Historically, desire has often been painted as a bad word. How do we know when to exercise restraint, and when to follow our desires? For most everybody, this is a daily and lifelong part of life. Especially for most people in the US, Canada and Eastern Europe, there are many options for us to consider on a daily basis. Sexual desire is just one part of life. How do we also navigate other basics of life, such as our diet, entertainment, transportation, hobbies, etc.? Anabaptists have sought a relational and communal approach to decision making. Instead of following the legal rules of the church and state, Anabaptists at their best strive to seek each others wisdom in life decisions, big and small. Instead of living life alone, we seek to share our life with others. What does it mean to share our desires with other? What does it mean to be part of a group that seeks the wisdom of God? What are God's desires? And how do we know God's desires? Is the Bible enough, or do we need more to discern our desires today?
Reflect - Now that we finished Genesis last week, the reading for this week is Ecclesiastes. It is part of the wisdom literature in the Bible, and often attributed to the wise King Solomon. It also wrestles with the point of life, beyond just desire, to the core of our reason for living. Skim the 12 chapters, and see if any of it catches you. Do you agree with all of it?
Pray - Work on practicing a daily time of intentional prayer. There are many resources online and ways to pray. One simple one (but can still be deep) is to pray the LORD's Prayer. Below is the New Zealand version.
Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and testing, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and for ever. Amen.