I won't be "celebrating" St. Patrick's day with beer tonight... partially because work keeps me from it, because its Holy Week, but also because of some difficult issues facing our world this week. I thought I'd raise three up, with requests for prayer/action as one feels led.
Many people don't know, but St. Patrick has a strong connection to liberation- he was a former slave himself, finding himself led by dreams to return to the people who enslaved him... and during his time in Ireland, he at one point he widely circulated a vitriolic attack on a tribe of bandits who kidnapped an entire peaceful community of new Christians, men women and children. He called on all local chieftens and leaders to condemn/act against this barbaric act, roughly 1200 years before the British/American abolition movements.
The first is the recent uprising/repression in Tibet as we approach the Chinese Olympics. I was at the UN this weekend for a conference on religion and peace work amongst the churches and non-profits, and we saw a large protest there... some people actually got arrested, I think for crossing the line while we were just upstairs. I spent a few moments respectfully joining them in silence and prayer. This article in the Times looks at the current situation and the Dalai Lama's response... not sure what else one can do at this moment besides prayer...
Amnesty posted this concern, for a man in Georgia convicted in a seriously questionable murder case who is yet again facing execution. I was following this when it came up last year, if people could send a quick letter it would be a huge deal:
Lastly, if people could pray for my community... we're facing another election tonight, of two Village board members. Our people are unopposed at the moment, but with all that's happened we're hoping the other side isn't planning to quietly do a surprise write-in. People seem frustrated and discouraged with everyone at this point, it hurts me to see my homeland in such turmoil, even the plan I support has its drawbacks, but I still believe its the best course. Its a hard time though, and we don't know what's going to happen.
A prayer, inspired by St. Francis and the Celtic saints:
God be with us, before us, behind us, in our rising and our falling. Light of sun, rush of stream, dancing mist, soaring rock, by all the living beauty of this Creation, in the company of saints and all who have come before. Peace be upon our world tonight, Lord, near and far. Grant us peace, peace beyond all understanding, in a world that bleeds. In the name of Jesus, God who suffers with us, Amen.