Our scripture lesson today from the prophet Micah lets us know what it means to walk with God…and all that God requires of us.
Almost forty six years ago my friends were being drafted into service for our country. Some were drafted and some of us enlisted because we knew we were going to be called anyway and we hoped we’d have some choice in the work we could do.
Almost 100 years ago the outbreak of the Great War began. It was to be the war to end all wars. We know now it wasn’t. One hundred years is a milestone but it doesn’t mark the end a journey. There’s quite a ways to travel before we see peace the whole world over.
God calls us to a journey that’s quite a bit different than the one some have been on when called to serve their country.
We are not called because God needs something but as Micah says we are called and told what the Lord requires of us, justice, kindness, and mercy. He doesn’t need our sacrifices as the Psalms say.
It sounds like it should be so easy, this vision of peace, yet the reality of it is very different. It’s not that we don’t want peace it just seems like there’s a power prevalent in the world that creates so much hate and then conflict between people of different cultures. And when you add the differences in religions and politics it’s like throwing gasoline on a campfire. Everything just explodes.
A long time ago our ancestors had a vision of a world where war would be no more. That hasn’t happened yet…and may never happen. So, we journey on.
Today we again here God’s call to be reconciled to our neighbors, our enemies, and those who are foreigners in our land.
Maybe we need to create markers to remind us what God requires, justice, kindness, and humility. These milestones should be constructed of materials that never rot, rust, or erode. Markers that would stand for as long as the world remains. Markers that would remind us of the vision Micah had for his country.
The young people of my generation burned their draft cards and some went to Canada to keep from being drafted or thrown into jail for protesting. They were against the war in Vietnam. They didn’t see the value in people dying.
Today there are still folks who picket the military bases in protest. They are willing to go to jail to get their point across.
We’ve had 13 years of war and I don’t know how many lost lives. Doesn’t it make you wonder why? What have we gained? Couldn’t there have been an alternate way?
And so I ask you to pray for peace remembering God’s word to Micah and Jesus’ words to the disciples about loving God and neighbor.
Friends, as we, this week, remember our friends, our family members, and those we never met let us commit to finding another way. Let’s honor those who’ve died and work to live in peace. The peace for which they fought so hard.
May we find another way, maybe trying God’s way. It surely would cost us less than all the lives lost in a war to end war forever. Our friends the peaceniks were so far off when they talked of making love not war.
Friends, remember our veterans this week…and pray for a way to end all war. Pray for the love and peace of Jesus Christ.
Thanks be to God for his grace. Amen.