Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.
Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one; and he will justify the circumcised on the ground of faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.
Reflection: The world has changed dramatically since 1980, when the 192nd General Assembly (1980) adopted Peacemaking: The Believers’ Calling and established the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program.
Terrorism has replaced communism as the number one threat to US national security, particularly since the tragedy of September 11, 2001. The military budget, never declining much from Cold War levels, is larger than all other programs except Social Security. US military superiority coupled with America’s view of itself as exceptional has raised questions about the United States’ involvement in the world. Many consider the United States to have become an empire, with military power the key to its domination in many parts of the world. And yet, recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been extremely costly in human and economic terms both for the United States and these countries, and it is not at all clear what they have achieved. This adds to an “increasing sense of the impotence of military might” (p. 11) and the belief that “the main problems of the world will not yield to military solutions,” (p. 15) as Peacemaking: The Believers’ Calling puts it.
Question for discernment: Have the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan changed the way you think about war? If so, how? What lessons have you learned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Prayer: O God, you are the God of all people, of Jews and Gentiles, of Americans and Afghans. Forgive us for the death and destruction we have wrought on others as if they were not also your children. Forgive us for our failure to imagine alternatives to war for dealing with conflict in the world.