It is Easter when we remember the selfless sacrifice of a man who instead of killing his enemies, stretched out his arms and died for them. We reflect on Jesus’ journey into Jerusalem and his sadness over the human blindness to the things that make for peace.
Earlier, standing on a hill in Galilee, he indicated that God’s blessing rests on the peacemakers and on those who ache for justice. His block of radical teaching is lived out at a high cost. The price is shown in his death on the cross.
He had glimpsed the things that make for peace. His loving depth of commitment concerns the reality that ultimately anything is redeemable.
It truly was an historic act that changed the foundation of the world.
Listening to the news of the killing of Osama bin Laden, the claims of a history-changing event sounds hollow: The rhetoric of ‘closure’, ‘justice’, ‘turning the page’ has revolutionary connotations but I fear that the dominant historic element is the continuation of the cycle of violence. As M.L. King Jr. said, “The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind”.
I worry that ‘justice’ wasn’t the outcome of a court procedure and suspect that ‘closure’ is not achieved through vengeance.
George Elliot’s perception was that the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistorical acts. Living out the radical nature of Jesus’ teaching requires a lifestyle of costly, selfless, loving acts of daily commitment to peace and justice – in the playground, workplace, family and community as well as on a wider stage.
God’s children are characterised by their ability to make peace (Matthew 5:9).
May our eyes be opened to the things that make for peace, so that we serve the shalom of society in a life filled with ‘unhistorical acts’ towards friends and enemies. May the Lord bless us and keep us. May He turn his face toward us and give us this peace.