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Swords into plowshares

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Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.

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December 25, 2013

Advent Devotion - Wednesday, December 25

Micah 4:1-4

1. Micah prophesies that one day the Lord’s house will attract people from every nation. How does God change these people when they come to him? 

2. Why does coming to God remove our need to use violence against others? 

Reflection: As they move toward God, people let go of their will to fight against each other. That change alone declares that you no longer want the hate that exists within the world. By taking up the cross and following Jesus, you are agreeing to sit under a tree and let the words and mercy of ...


December 24, 2013

UN Security Council acts to double UN peacekeeping force in South Sudan

The United Nations News Centre reports:

The Security Council today authorized almost doubling the United Nations peacekeeping force in strife-torn South Sudan to nearly 14,000 in the face of a rapidly deteriorating security and humanitarian crisis that has left hundreds of civilians dead and tens of thousands of others driven from their homes.

As requested by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Council unanimously approved a temporary increase in the strength of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to up to 12,500 military and 1,323 police from a current combined strength of some 7,000, through the transfer ...


December 24, 2013

Advent Devotion - Tuesday, December 24

Psalm 94:4-11

1. In this Psalm, what are the attitudes and behaviors that offend

God?

2. What arrogance or ignorance is God calling us to grow out of?

Reflection: “They won’t see us.” “They don’t care.” “We won’t get caught.” All too often, those are the words whispered before breaking the rules. But all too often, the wrongdoers are caught and their act is exposed. This reaction is common when breaking God’s rules. We as humans are sure that God won’t see what we’ve done. But as the Psalmist says, “He who planted ...


December 23, 2013

Advent Devotion - Monday, December 23

Luke 1:67-79

1. Why do we need light to "guide our feet into the way of peace?"

2. How can we bring this light to others?

Reflection: Without the Lord, we would not know peace. It is because of God that we can find a serene peace, or “Shalom.” We need to be shown this in order to live in “holiness and righteousness,” and serve God in the absence of fear. I can be the light by following the path and following Christ; by creating peace and reserving judgment.

Prayer: Lord, help me to see the light you set ...


December 22, 2013

Advent Devotion - Sunday, December 22

Galatians 3:6-14

1. How is living by faith different from following the law?

2. What would it look like if we truly lived by faith, like Abraham?

Reflection: The law is a set of rules made by humans to guide them in knowing what is wrong or right, while living by faith is to turn to that inner Spirit and follow feelings rather than rules. Additionally, laws are made to prohibit, while living by faith removes all limitations and allows us to live fully in God. If we were able to truly live by faith, like Abraham, then there ...

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