Lectionary resources for worship, faith formation, and service
The word “peace” likely evokes a sense of yearning for most of us.
Personal circumstances that have evoked loss or anger come to mind. We recall the many global conflicts that we hear or read about through the news. As we reflect on these types of experiences, a sense of despair might emerge. Why can’t everyone just get along?
The Dalai Lama offers a helpful insight in this quote: “Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways.” So, perhaps an underlying problem has to do with assumptions we make about those around us.
If we expect that everyone thinks the same way we do, we will be frustrated whenever we encounter differences. It also may be that we lack the skills necessary to deal with anyone who has a different worldview than we do. The Dalai Lama reminds us that peace involves an active and compassionate response to conflict.
We can then look upon our daily life and see that there are ways that we do create peace: a moment when we resolve an argument between children; a personal conversation where both sides listen to each other with respect; a professional situation that gets resolved through dialogue and compromise.
The challenge is to build upon these moments and apply them to situations where we seek to “win” the conflict at any cost.
As we approach the idea of peace as a practice, then we see more possibilities for how it can be realized in our lives. In this way, we will begin to recognize what the biblical authors meant when they spoke about the “way of peace”.