Pondering for Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Today I will ponder from our Great Cloud of Witnesses and from James Kiefer as we look at the life of Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld (pronounced HAM-mar-shold)

My Selected Readings for Dag Hammarskjold

1 Chronicles 25:1,6–8; Psalm 47; Ephesians 2:17–22; Matthew 5:1–12

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

“Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld was a Swedish diplomat, economist, and author, known particularly for the way in which his Christian faith informed his global peacemaking.” (Great Cloud of Witnesses for September 18) No doubt then that Hammarskjold should be called a child of God given that he worked hard to bring about peace around the globe.

Personally I prefer the Spanish translation of verse 9 of this chapter of Matthew. It reads, “Dichosos los que trabajan por la paz,porque Dios los llamará hijos suyos.” Roughly translated it says blessed are those who work for peace, they will be called children of God.”  It might be nitpicking but in the English if peace is not actually accomplished you can’t earn the title peacemaker.  However in the Spanish you “work” for peace.  No one knows for sure if their efforts will bring about the intended results, whether it’s planning a party or bringing about peace.  All we can do is work towards the goal.  I applaud Hammarskjöld’s efforts and his example of good leadership.

“Hammarskjöld was elected the second Secretary-General of the United Nations, serving from April 1953 until his death on September 18, 1961″ (Great Cloud of Witnesses for September 18)

From James Kiefer: “For years, he had kept a private journal, writing down his thoughts on the Lordship of Christ and its meaning for his life. After his death, the journal was published under the title Markings. Two extracts follow.

God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason.

He who has surrendered himself to it knows that the Way ends on The Cross–even when it is leading through the jubilation of Gennesaret or the triumphal entry into Jerusalem.”  (provided by James Kiefer)

“Hammarskjöld was killed pursuing peace in the Congo, when his plane mysteriously crashed on September 18, 1961. Many people— including President Truman—believed that the plane had been deliberately shot down. He was posthumously awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.” (Great Cloud of Witnesses for September 18)

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through God’s people and ponder anew what the Almighty can do.  John+                                                                                                                     

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