November 25 - Day One
We often talk about our rights. Our rights to freedom of speech or our rights to health care, or our rights to equitable wages are common themes. But we hardly ever talk about the right to have peace, in a safe home no matter where you live in the world. Women and girls are not given the right to a peaceful, safe, education across the globe. We often think of war torn countries where it is forbidden for all girls and boys to get an education and where walking to school is not safe. But we sometimes forget the areas in developed countries where homes and walks to school are not safe because of violence in the homes and danger in the streets related to gangs, drugs, or simply poverty. This past Sunday I was reminded by our priest that we are all saints in communion with God. We often honor patron saints but this season I want us to all walk as the saints of God. How can we help bring peace to homes near and far? How can we support the education of all children regardless of geographic region, religion affiliation, or socioeconomic level? Without the fulfillment of the basic rights to a peaceful home and education for all, how will we achieve a peaceful world?
I cannot help but think of the line from the hymn by Lesbia Scott, “I sing a song of the saints of God, Patient and brave and true, Who toiled and fought and lived and died For the Lord they loved and knew. And one was a doctor, and one was a queen, And one was a shepherdess on the green; They were all of them saints of God, and I mean, God helping, to be one too."
Whether through financial contribution or volunteerism or the jobs we perform daily we can all play a role. "They lived not only in ages past, There are hundreds of thousands still. The world is bright with the joyous saints Who love to do Jesus' will. You can meet them in school, or in lanes, or at sea, In church, or in trains, or in shops, or at tea; For the saints of God are just folk like me, And I mean to be one too."
Heavenly Father, have mercy on all your children. Show us your ways and help us to make this world one of peace. With homes that are safe. With women and children who are safe. With all boys and girls given the opportunity to an education in safe schools. Make each of us, your saints, instruments of peace and providers of safe harbors for education worldwide. Guide us in the paths of change that are necessary. Amen.
By Jackie Meeks Province VII Representative to the NECW Board