War – or peace?

Observant consumers of the Grove Community News may have noticed the absence of the usual Thoughtslot this month. I missed the deadline! This is more or less what I wrote:

“Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the peace makers,’ he might have added, ‘Blessed are the peace inheritors’.” Which, of course, is what we are. This month we celebrate the centenary of the cease-fire which ended the First “World War”, at 11am on 11th November 1918.

At the time, many hailed it as the end of “the war to end all wars”, so great had been the loss of life and the destruction of the previous four years. Surely it could never happen again? They were tragically wrong. In fact not a year has passed in the past and present century that has been free of military conflict. The total number of deaths from war in the 20th century has been estimated at 187 million.

Fortunately, since World War 2, our country has been protected from the worst of conflict. I’m not qualified to explain the reasons for this blessing, though I have my ideas! However what I do think is that, whilst remembering the atrocity of war, we should be celebrating peace. And that means more than high-fiving the idea. It means doing something about it. James in his epistle said something like, “What good is it, friends, if you talk the talk but don’t walk the walk? If someone is naked and doesn’t have enough food, and you say to them, ‘Peace, man; keep warm and eat your fill’, and yet you don’t supply what they need, whatever’s the good of that? Talk on its own doesn’t cut it. Without the walk, it’s dead, useless.” The Nobel Peace Prize this year was awarded to a Congolese doctor who cares for women sexually violated in war and to a woman survivor from Iraq who speaks up for them. They’re people who have DONE something for peace.

The question is, I guess, can we do anything to build peace – even in a small way – where we are? Would it make any difference if we could? Certainly it would. Houses are made of many individual bricks and together create a home for well-being, or peace. Like what Jesus called the Kingdom of heaven.

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