Earlier this morning Julie and Mary shared about their recent experiences serving with Christian Peacemaker Teams. Both have made long-term commitments to periodically serve as nonviolent peacemakers through CPT.
They leave their comfortable lives here in Central Ohio to go to places of significant conflict for short periods of time. This is God's work-work which is challenging for them and for us.
Some time ago, we offered sending prayers for Mary and for Julie. Today we are receiving Mary and Julie home. This is something new that we are doing today. We want to do this because we wish to acknowledge the sometimes a call from God takes a person to a place and through an experience that we cannot easily know or understand.
We want to recognize that returning home and resuming an ordinary life can be challenging.
You alone are our security. We know this because we have heard Mary share stories about her 3 months in the West Bank. We know this because we have heard Julie share stories about a month in Colombia.
Through their service with Christian Peacemaker Teams, you defended against the principalities and powers that rule on Earth.
They trusted that Your armor of Truth … Righteousness … Peace … Faith … Salvation and Holy Spirit would protect them.
Mary and Julie trusted that You would provide what was needed to show Your face and to teach Your nonviolent way to those who live with uncertainty and violence.
They trusted that You would help them see Your face in the soldiers and settlers…the guerillas and paramilitaries.
Today, we receive them home to Columbus Mennonite Church. We know that You are here also as Mary and Julie resume their ordinary lives as daughter and nurse, as wife and teacher, as members of this community of faith.
We acknowledge that their experiences on the West Bank and in Colombia have been so different from what we know here in Central Ohio. Help us to continue to listen to the stories Mary and Julie will tell us. Help us all to discern how we might best serve you in the days to come.
In the name of Jesus, who called us to a new way of living.