Today is the first Ember Day in this ecclesiastical season of Embertides. It is a series of three days (traditionally Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) one series per four seasons, set aside for fasting and prayer. Today's Ember Day has been chosen by our own Wascana Deanery as a day of fasting and prayer specifically for world peace. My husband, in between his regular meetings today, is doing four prayer services, three at our own church and one at another church, so that all parishioners will have an opportunity to participate in at least one of the services. For myself, although I am not permitted to fast, I am able to pray all day if so directed.
Two events from yesterday have given me inspiration to pray today: a time of Spirit led prayer with the other members of the Bishop's prayer team and the few minutes of televised US Republican candidate presidential debate on CNN I was able to catch before that prayer meeting.
The words and hopped up war mongering attitude of one of the candidates stuck with me, mostly because they appalled me. This particular candidate for the Republicans took the stance that ground troops are necessary in Syria to combat ISIL so that their members can be prevented from coming back to America to stage another 9/11 attack. I completely understand that fear. I understand that idea. I do. However, when I heard him say that the way to prevent them from coming here is to "kill them over there" my blood ran cold. The fellow was nearly apoplectic in his enthusiasm to kill, kill, kill. He was battling throughout that portion of the debate with a much calmer candidate who seems to understand the terrorist ideology better and had a rather different, possibly more effective solution, but one that would take longer to plan and implement. Unfortunately his wisdom was drowned out by the war monger and a couple of the other candidates. I fear that this will end up being a typical North American election where the candidates to run for the office of president will be chosen for their flair and entertainment value rather than for their longer enduring wisdom. We are standing on the precipice of another world war and its ensuing tragedy and disaster. My heart is sad.
I am grateful that in our small corner of the world there will be so many people seeking God's mercy in the midst of this mess we have created. How much chaos and death we have to both inflict and to suffer before God judges us ready to recognize and receive that merciful intervention, I do not know, but I am joining in with the others in our deanery and around the world who are seeking God's solution to the hatred and war that continue to plague us.
Lord Jesus, in your mercy, come and save us from our wicked ways.