Thursday, November 06, 2008

Hope and Peace

Ev'rybody's talkin' 'bout
Revolution, Evolution, Masturbation, Flagellation, Regulation,
Integrations, mediations, United Nations, congratulations
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance
(©1969 John Lennon)

This week people across the country will gather in halls and at memorials and cenotaphs and pause in solemn silence to remember. We remember battlefields far away in time and in space. We remember millions of war dead on all sides. But as we remember we need to look forward too.

We need to look at the present and the future and ask what now. We need to ask what it takes to “give peace a chance”. In a world where there is always conflict somewhere, where we regularly hear about starvation here or genocidal mobs there, where some are living high on the hog while others face homelessness and poverty, what will really give peace a chance?

The first thing that will give peace a really chance is hope. Without hope we have trouble seeing the future. Without hope there is little drive to work for a better day. But hope can be hard to come by. Where do we find hope in a world of bad news? The media seems to delight in the horrible stories while the good news ones are set aside as “human interest” and left as a space filler when needed. Where do we find hope?

For people of faith hope's greatest source is not found in any newspaper or on any screen. Hope's greatest source is God our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer. We find hope where we find God. We find hope when we read about God's hope and vision for a peaceful realm where all are fed, where all are loved, and where the wolf will lie down with the lamb. We find hope when we sense that God is at work in the world, when we see people taking up the opportunity to work for change. We find hope when we are reminded that there is more to the world than what can be seen and measured.

Once we have hope. Once we can trust that things can change, that peace is a (however remote it may seem) real possibility. Then we can move to the other prime requirement for giving peace a chance. That is us. Peace will never have a chance unless we, the people of the world, change our actions and priorities and thought patterns.

For peace to come we need to become people of true peace. True peace will be based not on what benefits one segment of the world or one ideology but on abundant life for all. True peace is based not in the absence of violence but in the presence of justice. This is the peace that God envisions, that God hopes for. This is the peace that we need to re-dedicate ourselves to as we gather to remember.

All we are saying, is give peace a chance.

1 comment:

  1. I think one of the challenges Gord is that too often Peace is a conditional AND highly subjective thing ... we value peace as the absence of war, because that's a concept we can readily and comfortably embrace - but peace as the pursuit of lasting justice in ALL corners of God's creation is a whole other kettle of fish ...

    We want justice so long as we're not inconvenienced ...

    we want justice so long as we don't have to sacrifice ...

    we want justice so long as it's not US (me or YOU) who are found lacking ...

    I agree that we need to give peace a chance - the problem as I see it, is that too often the voices calling for peace want something that is complacent, insipid and without even the whiff of risk ... peace and justice are about change - and change is seldom comfortable for anyone ...

    thanks for the thoughts though ... very good posting !!