Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, May 29, 2016
PEACE: Freedom and Equality
This is the next in a series of posts from Gemini Jr. High School in Niles. (Again, a big thank you to Mr. Rich Groeling, Gemini’s principal!)
Among the students who participated, I had two young people make their personal definitions of peace. However—neither of them left their names on the backs of their sheets of paper. I am sad about this! Still, I am presenting them here, knowing that they were and are meaningful to many, not only to these two young people.
The first definition: “Peace is freedom and equality.”
Whoa. Succinct, yet this definition says a mouthful. Yes, peace often is accompanied by freedom and equality. In the Hebrew scriptures, we can see how Moses spoke to the nation about the freedom that God grants. The spiritual redemption provided is invaluable, as is deliverance. Equality is an additional layer, layered on top. No one is more equal than any other. Each of us—each human being is unique, valuable, and different from each other person in the whole world. And, each one’s gifts are valued as much as the other. Color, creed, culture, ethnicity. Everyone matters. Unique, valuable, special.
The second definition can be challenging, and politically charged. I want to present it as the student wrote it. Simply, and in a heartfelt way.
The second definition: “Peace is freeing Palestine.”
Simply put, this definition shows a longing for freedom, just as much as the first definition did. And, not freedom in some abstract sense, but instead freedom to come and go, to work and to live their lives without fear. Without unequal distribution of power and control.
I can think of many other countries occupied by other regimes: the powerful states of Egypt, Greece, Rome. The Holy Roman Empire, the Muslim Caliphate, the British Empire, various other controlling states. Dear God, have mercy upon all those who suffer and have died with little or no aid or assistance. Wonderful opportunity to #PursuePEACE.
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