February 22, 2019
I kindly request you join me in focused prayer for the wonderful country of Venezuela, where I was born and raised. As my Venezuelan compatriots are going through one of the toughest political crisis ever experienced in history, let us pray from afar for peace.
I was reminded recently that peace (shalom) granted by Jesus, is a peace that surpasses understanding. It is not equivalent to the “Pax Romana” (Roman peace) understanding of absence of violence or war. When Christ says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you,” he is referring to a different kind of peace. Christ’s shalom has the Hebrew understanding of harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility. This kind of shalom is something Venezuela does not currently have…and has not had for some years. In fact, there has been an extreme lack of this shalom.
As the people in Venezuela are striving to solve their profound social and political crisis, my prayer is that they may receive strength and be guided by God’s Spirit so that Christ’s true peace—shalom—may finally be restored.
As the first Venezuelan immigrant Bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, I stand by my Venezuelan compatriots in their time of turmoil.
Let us pray:
Merciful and righteous God,
As earthy forces are coming face to face in Venezuela this weekend, we humbly beseech you to intervene with your divine and mighty arm so that the crisis in Venezuela may result in a positive path towards true peace. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen
May the peace of Christ that surpasses all understanding be with you and the people of Venezuela!
Bishop Pedro M. Suárez
The Rev. Pedro M. Suarez, Bishop
Florida-Bahamas Synod, ELCA