Isaiah 2:3-5 (NRSV)
3 Many peoples shall come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 He shall judge between the nations,
and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.
This past Veteran’s Day, we remembered the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. The war to end all wars was quickly followed by a second World War, and today the world is still at war. It is as if violence, war, and rumors of war are all around us. Yet, this is not God’s plan for creation to include the people of the nations.
As a member of the military, I yearn for peace. I weary of burying young women and men who have died defending their nation against conflict throughout the world. So, as I prepare for the season of Advent, the waiting to celebrate the birth of Jesus and for his return, I meditate on peace and pray for peace in the world. This peace is not a temporary stillness like the Christmas Eve truce during World War I, but a permanent peace where weapons of war have no more usefulness, where people of different creeds, colors, and race join together to worship God.
Before the rush and hurry of the days preceding Christmas overcome you with business, I recommend that you take a few moments to breath in God’s peace. Turn off the noise of the news, and focus on God’s creation as God intended it to be. Then, take a few moments and pray for the type of peace that brings an end to violence and war.