The Quest for Peace

Posted on: September 17, 2018, by :

When John the Baptist emerged from the desert proclaiming a new world order of peace and justice, most of the people who heard him thought he was crazy.  The religious leaders berated and ridiculed him as just another hair-brained, deluded fool who seemed to think he was Elijah.  At best, some may have regarded him as wide-eyed idealist – a dreamer who’d been out in the desert sun for too long: nice concept, but totally out of touch with reality.

Like so many people of vision, people who dream of a different world, people who yearn for new ways of being, people who proclaim peace, John was dismissed as an unrealistic dreamer.  How can you imagine such things?  It goes against basic human nature.  It has never been that way and it never will be that way – it’s simply not possible, not real.  After all, it’s the realists, the pragmatists, who always seem to win the day, not the dreamers.

Don’t you believe it!  The realm of the possible, the extent of reality, is always much bigger than we can conceive!  We’ve learnt to accept that the impossible keeps becoming possible in the world of medical science and technology.  Thus it is also in the rest of life!  If a mountain climber fails to conquer the mountain the first time they usually try a different route next time.  Just because it can’t be done this way doesn’t mean it can never be done!  The fact that hostility continues in the Middle East and elsewhere doesn’t mean that the lion can never lie down with the lamb – it simply means we haven’t found the way to peace yet.

A picture of a doorway hangs on the wall of my study at home.  Is it a closed door?  No!  It’s just not open yet!  I dream of what might be on the other side of that door!  And I work to open it up!  Peace is worth working for!  Our hope for peace is not a naïve crossing of the fingers and hoping that things will turn out OK.  It is a hope that is anchored in the belief that God has acted for the healing of the world, and nothing – no assault or sorrow or negative experience – can undo the work that God has begun!

The ‘good news’ of the incarnation is that the impossible is possible!  That things and people can change, can be better; the world can be a place of justice, compassion, hope and peace!  So be alert to this new world order, this new reality!  No, do better than that – live as though it were already a reality, already our experience, because then it will be our reality and it will change our world!

As part of our proclamation of this new world order we are joining with people around the world in a multi-faith gathering to mark the International Day of Peace (11:30 am Friday 21st September).  We’d love to have you share with us.  Details at www.theavenuecc.org.au

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