"Peace On Earth"

Pastor Ted Haas

It's Veterans' Day as I write. Last week four Rotarians from our Frederick Club who served in uniform shared their experiences in war. One was in World War II, another in Korea, a third in Viet Nam, and the fourth in Desert Storm. All got emotional when they recalled buddies who were killed.

Some may glorify war, but it is an awful reality. Pacifists believe God is against all wars and want us to work hard at peacemaking. Most of us recognize with Lincoln and Roosevelt that some wars are necessary to protect the innocent, fight for freedom and pursue justice. Yet, with the Rotarian who went to Viet Nam, we see that war can be a tragic mistake.

Christmas is coming again, renewing God's will for "PEACE ON EARTH, GOOD WILL AMONG ALL PEOPLE." The Christ who is our Saviour taught us to be peacemakers, reconcilers, not warriors. His faith taught him "to study war no more," "to beat swords into plowshares" in order that God's Kingdom comes on earth. We must not surrender this ideal way to live and to resolve conflicts! We must be advocates for diplomacy, for non-violent actions for justice and for a Peace Corps around the world. In our personal relations we should strive to live peacefully with everyone and to resolve conflicts without violence.

Out veterans, however, tried to bring peace on earth by doing their duty when called to fight. We honor them. Let us listen to one of them who wrote:

"Do not give medals for our death;
Do not raise flags and hold parades;
We ask but one thing
Please be WORTH the blood we shed."

Peace,

Pastor Ted