St. Paul United Church of Christ
Recently, I was reminded of the text of the song “Let There Be Peace on Earth” when I found a copy of a prayer by the Archbishop of El Salvador, Oscar A. Romero. The prayer states:
Peace is not the product of terror or fear.
Peace is not the silence of cemeteries.
Peace is not the result of violent repression.
Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution
of all to the good of all.
Peace is dynamism.
Peace is generosity.
It is right and duty.
Those are wise words…words we need to keep in mind as we hear, over and over, the various proposals of methods to bring “peace in our time.” Peace, certainly, is a valued and much sought-after state of being…something we as a people…as a nation…as the world…should pursue at whatever cost…as long as we understand that means we pursue it at whatever cost to US…not just to everyone ELSE! Peace is not achieved simply by replacing or eliminating the “despot of the day” and proclaiming the problem solved.
To achieve the peace we seek…”the peace that was meant to be”…we must walk and work together “in perfect harmony.” We must mean what we say about the importance of peace, and expect it to begin with US. If there is to be peace on earth, it must begin with us as we strive to understand those whose beliefs, values and religions are different than ours. As fellow children of the Creator of ALL, we must be willing to work with the world around us “in perfect harmony.” This world is God’s. That is what we believe and proclaim. We share it with each and every one of God’s children, and must do so graciously, not contemptuously. We are, and always will be answerable to God for the way we treat his world and his children. Help bring about peace as the result of love and compassion, rather than as the product of fear or might. To do so will bring to our troubled world the “Peace that passes all understanding…the peace that was meant to be.”.
Rev. Carl Pelzer