Today, we share the next of several reflections that will prepare us for the upcoming Episcopal Youth Event, to be held July 10-14 at the University of Central Oklahoma. These reflections are connected to this year’s theme, “Path to Peace.”
As a part of the event, participants will explore Oklahoma City during a mid-week “Oklahoma Day.” As a part of this day, participants will visit the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial. This reflection is designed to provide some background information on the story we will experience at the memorial, and ideas on how to prepare ourselves for this time.
READ: John 16:31-33 (CEB)
PONDER: Click the links below to read a little bit about the history of the Oklahoma City Bombing, as well as some information about the memorial.
Overview of the bombing, its history, and legacy
Reflections by Florence Rogers, survivor of the Oklahoma City Bombing
Learn about the people who died in the bombing
Learn more about the memorial museum
1.) The Oklahoma City Bombing was a traumatic experience for families, communities, and even a nation. The memorial and museum was created to house symbols, artifacts, and other places for reflection designed to help people process and remember this experience. Just like this museum, the symbols of our Episcopal tradition help bring us peace during times of distress. In traumatic and distressing times, how do the symbols, practices, Scriptures, and Sacraments of our faith bring us peace, hope, and love?
2.) In the reading from John, Jesus tells the disciples that there will be a time when they will face distress. However, he also tells them to be encouraged because he has conquered the world. How does Jesus bring you peace when you face distress in your life?
3.) Jesus also tells the disciples that they should be encouraged because he has come to bring them peace. What are some of the ways you receive encouragement? Does this bring you peace? Why or why not?
PRAY: Holy God, we live in a world full of distress, pain, and suffering. Grant that I may find peace and encouragement through the example of Jesus. Remind me that you are always with me and will bring me encouragement. Open my eyes to see the many things that help bring peace and comfort in dark times. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.