Friday, November 26, 2010

Swords to Plows


God will end conflict between nations,
and settle disputes between peoples;
they will hammer swords to plows,
and spears to pruning knives.
Nations will not take up arms,
will no longer train for war.
Isaiah 2:4
A perfect hope-filled verse to begin Advent.
We pray for peace in the world, but I'm not sure we really think that a world without war is possible. I grew up in the Second World War and cheered for our troops in the newsreels before movies and took for granted that war was a way to solve problems. Our military is part of the fabric of our country. We hardly note that the war in Afghanistan is costing us 100 billion dollars a year. We see nothing strange about someone who decides to make his career in war. Yet God promises to put an end to it.
Jesus tells us that all who take the sword will perish by the sword, that we should turn the other cheek, that we should pray for our enemies. Do I really believe that what he asks is sensible?
Hope is possible only when the future is black. If we can see a logical way through our problems, there is no need for hope. The Christmas angels promise peace on earth. Advent is the season of hope.
(The picture is what yesterday's silver freeze looked like on the ground.)
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