Things That Make For Peace

 September 16, 2014

“And when he drew near and saw the city he wept over it, saying, “Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hid from your eyes.” -Luke 19:41-42, RSV

“They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.” -Jeremiah 6:14, RSV

 

Some years ago, Mary Beth and I visited our daughter in Japan, and spent a week sightseeing. We took the bullet train to Hiroshima and made a pilgrimage to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. It was a very moving experience for me to stand in that large open space with the shattered remains of the only building left after the dropping of world’s first atomic weapon. About 140,000 people—children of God, all—died as a result. The Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound is a large, grass-covered knoll that contains the ashes of 70,000 casualties who could not be identified. Standing in this holy unholy place, I couldn’t help but reflect on the line from Harry Emerson Fosdick’s great hymn, “Cure thy children’s warring madness.” What madness leads people to a war that kills sixty million persons?

Apparently humanity has not yet learned what Jesus wished for, the things that make for peace. I write this on September 11 as our nation remembers the horrific attack on our homeland; just last night, our President announced new attacks to be carried out on those who would harm us. Will it never end? I count around 10 wars with direct U.S. involvement since World War II, plus numerous others where we were indirectly involved. Wikipedia lists 1064 wars worldwide in my lifetime. Would that we knew the things that make for peace!

 

These things might include

Tolerance

Empathy

Forgiveness

Understanding

Compassion

Love…

I’ll leave the rest of the list for you to fill in.

 

The things that make for peace between nations are important also for peace among individuals. As we contemplate this day the horrors of war, let us meditate on how we might increase in our lives the things that make for peace.

 

Prayer: God of shalom, grant us peace in our lives, in our nations, in our relationships, in our hearts. Make us instruments of your peace. We pray in the name of the Prince of Peace. Amen.

Dr. Bill Mankin
Wyoming Cluster Ministry & Mission Coach
ABCRM Staff

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