It was Jeremy Bentham who said: "In order to love mankind, we must not expect too much of them." And Goethe had a still deeper vision when he said: "Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though it were his own."
I think we could say these are opposite views of humankind. I have come to know that our viewpoint skews all. The person of positive faith makes it through difficulty with their faith strengthened, while a negative viewpoint makes even the tiniest challenges a horrid time.
This morning I am thinking of this from the vantage of my life journey and from the overall view of humanity and our collective challenges.
Personally, I think I have journeyed through an amazing gauntlet during the course of my life so far. There have an incredible amount of twists and turns, switch backs, mountain peeks and deep valleys, surprises, shocks, tears and laughter. It has made me stronger and more aware of God in my life, God at all times everywhere.
This leads me to the prayer time I ask you to enter each Friday at noon your time. We pray for darkness that blankets those acting with violence and hatred to be lifted. Looking at life through the viewpoint of no God, of no hope, of fear, people thrash around and make a mess of life.
I propose that the good people of earth join in prayer to heal the hearts of those overwhelmed by darkness, so much that they have lost their way. With compassion in our hearts and a vision of what could be for these lost souls, let us pray together in one voice for the darkness to be lifted and for violence and hatred to be gone from their lives, and for every smidgen of it to be gone from our own hearts as well.
With God as our companion, our faith is strong and courage calls us forward to walk as Christ walked, to love fearlessly and pray without ceasing.
God of us all, guide us to live and be as you would have us live and be. Lift all darkness from every corner of our hearts and minds. For those who are acting from the darkness of violence and hatred, hold them close, and help them release their false understandings so that they see and come to know Your Love and Light. Flood us with Your Wisdom and lead us to live together as one human family, seeing and seeking the highest and the best for one and all. I know all is possible with You. I release this prayer to You. May Your will be done. Amen, Amen and Amen