Okay, before you think I am some gooney Christian-fundamentalist smiley-faced la la, hear what happened at St. Andrew's United Church in Port Moody today.
It's Remembrance Sunday, so we honoured all of the veterans who are in our congregation and all of the veterans who are loved by the people in our congregation. Best of all, Mary Duncan, our new minister, delivered a totally direct and vivid sermon about war and our part in taking responsibility for peace. She read stories told by soldiers from the second World War and the Gulf War and criticized George W. Bush for professing to be a man of God but acting in a very ungodly manner with respect to peace. The scripture reading included Luke:
This is Jesus talking:
"But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you. "
I thought about this afterwards and realised it means not only to love Iraquis and Al Quaida, but also to love George Bush. I'm still working on the personal responsibility part. What can I do here in my home with my family in Port Moody to really help promote world peace?
For starters we can try to teach our children to value love and peace and to make those values part of their decision-making and problem solving. The best way to teach this is to model it. Also, we can speak out against policies that promote violent solutions to local and world problems. We can also honour those veterans who walk in the parade on Thursday and thank goodness we did not have to see what they saw and do what they did.
I cried in church today. I felt very sad, even shocked by the stories that Mary shared. But I also felt grateful to be part of a religious community that is a leader in Canada's peace movement, and to attend a place of worship where the real events of the world are made part of our worship and our instruction for everyday living.
That's all for now.
Question: When will we ever learn?
mompoet - somber