Song: Instrument of Peace
Written & performed by Jean Tan
(ft. Sherise Netanya)
Lord make me an instrument of Your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, let me sow faith
Where there is quiet despair, hope
Where there is darkness, let me sow light
Where there is sadness, joy
Lord make me your instrument of peace
This song is an adaptation of the Prayer of St Francis (see full text below), which is a cry for us as believers to be channels of God’s grace and love to others – not just in convenient times, but also in difficult ones. It was written in a time of illness where, despite having most basic abilities like drinking and eating stripped away, I had to make sacrifices of the heart and will to God and to someone whom I loved, and be willingly broken for them. The prayer is a constant reminder that “We want to live as people chosen, blessed, and broken, and thus become food for the world.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen, Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith.
The Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."
- Matthew 5:9
About the Songwriter
Jean is a singer-songwriter, signed with indie Korean label LEEWAY. She has performed at Singapore’s National Stadium and Gardens by the Bay for the Southeast Asian Games 2015, as well as events like the Singapore Night Festival and Zandari Festa in Seoul, Korea. Her latest EP ‘Blooms’ (2020) was produced by Singaporean R&B artiste Dru Chen, and songs ‘6.55pm’ and ‘Waiting for Love’ have also been featured in the Korean drama mini-series Barefoot Diva and Le Jour.
Jean often weaves her life challenges into her songs and uses her music for social good. She shared and performed at schools, community spaces, and for organisations such as World Vision, Operation Smile, and Architects of Life. Find out more at www.jeantan.com.
Tamar Village walks journeys of restoration with individuals and their family units who have decided to no longer be involved in or influenced by the trades of the red light district. Valuing individuals form the heart of our relationship with the people we work with. We want to come alongside them to journey together towards wholeness and stability.
Through our Restoration Centre, we aim to bring hope, help, and healing to people who have been in or are affected by the sex trade. We believe in providing space for our people to rest, heal and to dream again, having stepped out of what may have been a chaotic and confusing environment.
HAGAR is an international NGO and a registered charity in Singapore committed to the recovery and economic empowerment of women and children who have survived the trauma of human trafficking, slavery and abuse. We do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to restore a broken life. Since 1994, HAGAR has supported more than 40,000 women and children survivors from Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam and Afghanistan.
In Singapore, HAGAR helps trafficking survivors and exploited foreign domestic workers on their recovery journey, empowering them to regain dignity, build resilience and skills to start a whole new life. Beyond supporting survivors, HAGAR also works to strengthen existing prevention efforts through collaborative partnerships with the government, civil society and the private sector to effectively combat human trafficking and exploitation issues locally and globally.
Devotional: "Lord, make me..."
By Amanda Chong
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon…
I need not look further than my own heart to see the natural tendency of Man to curve inward, bending towards our own self-righteousness. When I have been wronged, my first instinct is to stand up for myself, to seek vindication at all costs, to prove myself as not just right, but better than the person who has treated me unfairly. With this comes the temptation to water the bitterness in my heart, to demonise the other party, and to smugly guard the growing rift between us.
We see this dynamic playing out in every corner of our increasingly polarised world. From conflict in our homes to faceless strangers warring on Facebook threads, we stake our ground and refuse reconciliation until our demands have been met. Very often, we do this because we truly believe that we are right, and we stand on the side of justice. But Jesus who is perfect justice, shows us a higher righteousness – the radical way of peace.
I think of Jesus in Gethsemane, moments before his betrayal in the hands of the sinners he would soon die for. His soul heavy with sorrow, as he falls on his face in lonely prayer away from his sleeping friends. Jesus’s sweat darkening into drops of blood, watering the hardened ground – the same blood he would later shed on the cross to make peace between man and God, so our hearts of stone may come alive.
Jesus, the son of God, gave up his rights for the sake of reconciling all of us prodigal children to our Father. His ministry of peace began with an emptying – Jesus came as a servant born in the likeness of man. His life on earth embodied humility, beginning in a manger and ending crucified between two thieves. Christ on the cross reveals the nature of God as one who reaches out in love, towards enemies who mock and inflict grievous pain, even when it costs him his life.
Where there is quiet despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, let me sow light...
What are we called to do as friends of Jesus and recipients of his blood-bought peace? God has given us “the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:18), to carry the compassion of Christ into a broken world, and with it, the good news that Jesus’s blood atones for our sins and restores us into relationship with God who is Love.
As friends and followers of Jesus, our lives must be an outworking of his message of peace. Love should be the transformational force in our relationships and communities. We must be deeply concerned with what concerns Jesus — the poor, the oppressed, the outcasts. We should care that the institutions and structures in society reflect the intrinsic dignity and worth of our every human life – in the words of Cornel West, “Justice is what love looks like in public”. In our interactions with people we disagree with, we must not lose sight of the fact that they are image-bearers of God and we should treat them with honour, instead of belittling or mocking them.
Lord, make me…
I know I cannot change my own heart, and its tendencies to curve inward. My instinct to prioritise and elevate myself spills out, despite my earnest efforts at self-mastery. In order to be an instrument of God’s peace, we must allow ourselves to be remade in the hands of our loving Father. As we come into real intimacy with God, he causes us to grow in the same kind of trust and obedience that led Jesus to the cross.
Bearing the fruit of peace will surely cost us. In the words of Jesus in John 12:24, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies it bears much fruit”. As Jesus’s death and resurrection demonstrates, one of the key realities of the Kingdom is that life springs forth from death. We must lay down our lives at the feet of Jesus, so that he may live in us (Gal 2:20). Only then can the fruit of the Spirit come to bear in our lives – and we may sow faith, hope, peace and joy into this world.
Each time mercy triumphs over judgment or grace prevails over self-righteousness, we are showing a glimpse of eternity in the new creation, when God’s everlasting peace will reign.
Dear Lord, we thank you that because of Jesus’s death on the cross, we can be fully reconciled to you. From enemies of God, we are now sons and daughters who can approach the throne of grace with confidence to receive the mercy and grace we desperately need.
We ask for the compassion of Christ to abound in us. Give us the wisdom to make difficult choices in love. Help us to forget ourselves as we remember Christ. May we be fully yielded to your transforming love, as we seek to love our neighbours better and renew our communities with your justice.
Lord, we look forward to the day Christ returns. Until that day, may your church be filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus, and may your promise of eternal peace captivate a watching world.
About Amanda Chong
Amanda Chong is a lawyer trained in Cambridge and Harvard, who writes poems during lunch breaks. Her first poetry collection, Professions, was shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize in 2018. Her poetry has been engraved on the Marina Bay Helix Bridge and included in the Cambridge International GCSE syllabus. She was playwright for the musical “The Feelings Farm” produced by the Esplanade in 2021.
She also co-founded ReadAble, a non-profit which aims to improve social mobility by empowering children and migrant women in low-income communities with literacy. She has served on the United Nations Expert Group on Trafficking in Persons and is currently appointed to the Panel of Advisers to the Youth Court. More about her at www.amandachong.com.