That peace was better than war; because in peace the sons did bury their fathers, but in wars the fathers bury their sons.
On Christmas Day the world over people stop to consider the possibility of peace. I was reminded of this universal desire yesterday as I made visits on Christmas Eve to Imam Mohamed Ahamed and Rabbi Kliel Rose here in Nashville to deliver materials for an upcoming event we are hosting together next year. As he escorted me through the decorated fellowship hall in his synagogue, Rabbi Rose explained how American Jews enjoy being together and sharing a Chinese meal on Christmas Eve . Later, at the Islamic Center, the Imam reached out to grasp my hand with both of his in a warm greeting of affection. Each wished me “Merry Christmas” as we parted.
As a Christian who celebrates the Christ story, I stopped to consider the coming of Emmanuel, God with us. I marvel at a God who for the sake of peace among men would assume human form and live in our midst.
At the close of 2010 with the promise of a new year approaching, I am overwhelmed by the deep longing in the human heart for peace. No war is commenced with the intent that it last forever. We all want wars to end. No conflict is capable of perpetuating itself indefinitely. All disputes will be over. Even the “100 Years War” ultimately concluded after a mere 116 years of conflict between French and English dynasties each claiming the French throne. Although the real “mother of all wars” introduced gunpowder and artillery into human warfare, it too ended.
Here’s to 2011 as the year we pursue reconciliation with greater commitment. May we learn the tools of making peace and better managing the inevitable conflict that arises in our communities, our workplaces and in the relationships we treasure.
In the Spirit of Christmas 2010, “Peace on earth, good will to all men and women.”