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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Scripture Reading: Micah 4:1–4
In days to come
     the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
     and shall be raised up above the hills.
Peoples shall stream to it,
     and many nations shall come and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
     to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
     and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
     and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between many peoples,
     and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
     and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
     neither shall they learn war anymore;
but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees,
     and no one shall make them afraid;
     for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken. (NRSV)

We have so often heard this passage from Micah used to describe the reign of the Christ child. We so often refer to Jesus as the long awaited Prince of Peace. It has become a well-worn name in our mouths.

Yet we all know our world is filled with conflict: military forces are engaged in battles all over the globe, gun violence continues to tear through local communities, families continue to be shaken by domestic abuse. What does it mean to worship the Prince of Peace in a world that so lacks it?

In American Sign Language, the sign for peace is a combination of the two signs for become and settle. The sign for become is made by using two hands placed upon one another, then changing positions, to show that becoming entails a fundamental change in the state of a thing; and then the hands move downward in a calming, soothing, motion to indicate that things are settled in this new state.

Is this not what the prophet tells us will happen when the nations come to recognize the lordship of our God in the days to come? The “mighty nations” will learn from God; they will learn to transform themselves and their ways, so that “they will no longer learn how to make war.” Let us usher in the rule of our Prince of Peace by helping our own communities and nation to change our culture of military might and violence, so that we might be a people transformed and settled in peace.

Help me to be open to your transforming Spirit, O God. Let me become an instrument of your peace, and let me be settled firmly in it. Amen.

Written by Hardy H. Kim, Associate Pastor for Evangelism

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