Monday, June 21, 2010

Fill our hearts with your peace

Come and fill our hearts with your peace, you alone are holy.
Come and fill our hearts with your peace, alleluia.
- Celtic pilgrimage songbook

On Sunday morning, along with several others, I worshiped with the Quakers in downtown Dublin. Most of the others on the pilgrimage worshiped in the Church of Ireland cathedrals but, after a lot of talk about Protestants and Catholics the last several weeks, I needed a mooring with the Historic Peace Churches.

There was once a fledging Mennonite congregation in this city, too, but it did not survive the formation years. One of the persons involved in that church plant, Michael Gaarde, has been spending a few days with us.

Michael said the influence of John Howard Yoder's theology has been great in this region of the world even though a Mennonite congregation did not flourish. He says Mennonite workers and their focus on conflict resolution and mediation, played an important role in bringing peace in Ireland and northern Ireland.

In hindsight, Michael says, maybe it is even a blessing that a Mennonite congregation did not emerge here. "We don't need more churches in Ireland, but simply more faithful ones," he says. Our role here and elsewhere is not to perpetuate ourselves but simply be an agent of transformation, a modern day version of dying in order to bring life.

Come and fill our hearts with your peace.

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