Monday, December 7, 2015

Raging Nations and "Peace on their lips"

“Why do the nations so furiously rage together
          and the peoples plot in vain?” (Psalm 2)

Our bright LCES hallways and classrooms of relative peace stand out in sharp contrast to the wider world which longs for peace, knowing peace more by its absence than a currently reality.

U Thant, then United Nations secretary general from Burma, addressed 1600 delegates from 42 nations in the late 1960’s with a question. “Why is it for that, for all our professed ideals, our hopes and skills, peace on earth is still a distant objective seen only dimly through the storms and turmoil of our present difficulties?”

Translation: Why haven’t we figured this out already?

The question reads as a lament as much as a real question for us to consider. With Remembrance Day thoughts only a month behind us, the rise of tension internationally, and the violence witnessed last week in California we can find ourselves hard pressed to believe the good news given to the Bethlehem shepherds long ago announcing `peace on earth.‘ We still wait for the world to recognize the authority and follow the pathway to the peace the Christ child made possible. The rage of nations still feels like a forest fire of hatred that leaves behind the scarred remains of hope the world over. Families are torn apart, people are displaced, and suffering and disillusionment saddens our hearts through the images of war we see.

Where do we go with our craving for peace? God’s Word. David’s mention of raging nations isn’t the final word. That is found in the book of Revelation where John proclaims: “The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ.” (Revelation 11:15-18) The nations rage, but they cannot change the final outcome. The battle has already been won. Our task in Christian education is to so capture our student’s hearts with the peace of Christ that they are compelled to speak with "peace on their lips" (Isaiah 57:10) and act with mercy.

May peace abound in the hearts of our students and transform them as they pronounce Christ’s
kingdom that will one day come, and is already here. SJ

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