Daily Office Readings for Friday of Proper 22: Year 2
“He shall judge between many peoples, and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they shall beat their swords into plough shares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken. For all the peoples walk, each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever.” (Micah 4:3 to 5)
The prophet Micah speaks of a distant peace. He speaks of a time when we will no longer need a military to go up against another nation; and maybe not even police because all people will honor the laws of their God. I know it sounds radical; maybe even impossible. And, it is an especially strange concept since it seems so much like we are going in the other direction. Our swords and spears are going more and more into nuclear weaponry rather than instruments of agriculture, food and medicines for the world. If we only focused our resources towards the care of others instead of the threat of others. What a wonderful world we would be.
How do we get to this radical way of living? If we prayed more in private, and worshiped more earnestly in community, we would be a planet where all people in every walk of life would sit in their own planted gardens in peace while being thankful to God. What a beautiful sight that would be. All people will walk with their God, as they understand God in their worship communities, regardless of how God is named in that community, and live in peace. Be we Muslims, Jews or Christians, we ought to see God as a God of love and peace. We are not competing. We need to understand, for whatever reason; God is made manifest to different people in different ways. However, the characteristics of love and compassion for the stranger and those who are different must be appreciated and respected. There is no manifestation of hate in any understanding of God.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John