Peace Can't Be Assassinated
THERE was a perceptive editorial in the Monitor of August 14 entitled, "Don't Yield to Assassins of Peace. The writer warns that extremists such as the ones who assassinated Shahpur Bakhtiar in Paris a few weeks ago are trying to interrupt improved relations between Iran and France. Such incidents raise tensions and hinder the peace process underway in the Middle East.The writer concluded his column with these words: "Throughout the Middle East, there is a hopeful movement toward resolving heretofore intractable problems. These developments must not be blighted by a handful of remorseless killers. It is a time for courage and resolute defiance of the assassins of peace. It is natural for people to want to live in peace with their neighbors and to feel real security for their families and to see their children growing up with love and respect for others. What can we do individually to help bring lasting peace to the world? The task would seem pretty daunting if we were to start with some of the fragmented areas of the world and try to figure out how to fit them together again like some intricate jigsaw puzzle. But Christ Jesus, the Saviour, showed mankind a better way to cope with strife. He taught us how to be real peace makers. The Master's life illustrated the divine fact that in reality God is the Father of man and that God's spiritual family is always at peace. Matthew's Gospel records Jesus' words "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. But some may ask: Is spiritual peacemaking practical in a world where ethnic rivalries, warring factions, and clashing ideologies flare up almost anywhere? Yes it is. When we begin to glimpse man's true relationship to God as His loved child, made in His likeness and obedient to His will, this spiritualized view of creation brings into focus an entirely new reality--the reality of God's universal family held in His love. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, gives a clear description of God as the Father of a family that is at all times governed harmoniously by His law. In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures she writes, "This human sense of Deity yields to the divine sense, even as the material sense of personality yields to the incorporeal sense of God and man as the infinite Principle and infinite idea,--as one Father with His universal family, held in the gospel of Love. It takes courage and persistence to be a real peacemaker, because conflicts in society are often caused by deep distrust and unhealed animosities that have built up, sometimes for years. Yet as we strive daily to live in peace in our homes and bring peace to our communities, we begin to feel God's love being expressed. Then our fearful view of humanity as torn by hatred and warring factions is gradually replaced with the scientific certainty that God is indeed the only Father of man. We gain a deeper convic-tion of our own place and safety in God's universal family. We are able to pray more constructively, and to love more universally. It will take the courage and determination of us all to stand up to the "assassins of peace; but step by step, true peacemakers, armed with the authority of God and His Christ, will be empowered to bring real peace to a waiting world. Then Isaiah's prophecy for all nations will come nearer fulfillment, "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."