Love the world into peace

Dr. Carolyn N. Roy, Plank Chapel United Methodist Church
Nov. 09, 2013 @ 10:01 AM

As we honor our Veterans this weekend, I am reminded of something my husband, a retired master gunnery sergeant, once told me about peace.

He said to me that he would continue to fight and protect until we could find a better way than war for the world to be at peace.

He knew, as I know, true peace is not simply laying down arms and ceasing to fight. True peace does not depend on what threat is bigger or who has the most power. True peace is when there is no need for weapons of war. True peace is the peace offered when Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not let them be afraid,” John 14:27 NRSV.

The image that conveys the peace Jesus speaks of is given to us by the prophet Isaiah. He tells us that, “The wolf shall live with the lamb…The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den,” Isaiah 11:6 & 8 NRSV. T

hese images are counterintuitive to all we understand as safe in our world. We would run to save the child from the snake. As much as we long for this peace it is a peace we fear because we are asked to let go of our fear of the other. To achieve that peace on earth requires us to take risks and love our enemies unconditionally. This is foreign to our self preservation and survival instincts as human beings. Can we love the wolf as we love the lamb?

Men, women and children all over the world die because we do not have peace in the world. Service men and women put their lives on the line and make great sacrifices for love of God, family and country.

These men and women return to us with wounds that we can see and others that we cannot.

The cost of their commitment to see the world safe and let peace reign continues throughout their lifetime.

They not only need the community of faith to surround them, support them and love them into healing, they need the community of faith to love the world into peace. It is not within our power for this to happen. It is God’s power that will bring about this peace. As disciples of Jesus Christ, followers of the Prince of Peace, our task is to allow God’s powerful love to transform our lives and take risks right where we live.

We begin with that family member, that friend, that coworker, that neighbor, or that church member that we may have a conflict with and offer them love, offer them the peace of Christ and reconcile.

On Veterans Day offer your gratitude to those who have served and love the world into peace.