Thoughts for the Month

Dear Friends,

Peace is something that we all yearn for, in our homes, in our lives, in the world. Advent reminds us that God has promised peace to the world. Isaiah (2:4) tells us that weapons of war (swords) will be melted down and turned into food producers (ploughshares). Yet we only have to turn on the TV to see that this Advent is no more peaceful than any other. Far from it!

The enduring peace of God’s everlasting justice is being sought with weapons of war and innocent people are dying in the Yemen, Syria and Iraq, to name but a few.

Peace cannot be imposed on any people or nation. It has to be felt and yearned for. When a nation is defeated and it signs a declaration of ‘end to hostility’, the work only just begins. That’s because peace is more than the absence of conflict. Peace is living with justice for all sides. Without tackling root injustice, we only create what, at best, is a temporary truce—consider Korea. Each year Christians recall that Christ came as the embodiment of that promise of peace and justice. But we don’t simply recall it as a past event, something that took place in the past. We recall it to remind ourselves that it is our responsibility and duty to make it a reality in our own day.

As another year unfolds, let us ask the Holy Spirit to transform our lives, so that we may become signs and vehicles of that peace which God alone can offer the world. God’s peace is more than tolerance and multiculturalism. It is that deep-down sense of well-being that comes from knowing that we are held in the palm of God’s hand, and we are doing all we can to ensure that others experience his infinite love, through the way we treat them. Peace be with you.

Martin

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