Just now, we prayed the Healing of the Nations liturgy of Holden Prayer Around the Cross. I am overwhelmed. In the middle, there’s a litany for the nations that includes a sung prayer for 85 nations around the globe. It’s so simple—just a nation or two sung by the cantor with a response from the assembly of “peace be yours.” Think about how long it takes to sing the names of 85 nations. I was hesitant, at first, thinking that people (including me) were not going to be affected by it and that it was going to seem like it took forever. As Marcia sang of war-torn nations, hungry nations, and some with deeply intentional pairings…
Palestine and Israel, peace be yours.
North and South Korea, peace be yours.
Taiwan and China, peace be yours.
Iraq and Iran, peace be yours.
Kenya and Congo, peace be yours.
Syria and Turkey, peace be yours.
United States and Cuba, peace be yours.
Tanzania and Sudan, peace be yours.
Ethiopia, Somalia, peace be yours.
…I could hardly sing. As I imagined, even just for a second, what is happening at this moment in those places, it was only fitting that all I could muster was, “peace be yours.”
In these places we have just named there is a first free election, there is a dead President, there is a wall, there is a nuclear bomb, there is a holy war, there is a dictator, there is famine, there is rape, there is murder, there is fear.
As we name aloud these hurts, we name aloud this healing. We name aloud peace that comes only from God.
We weep with those who weep.