I find I am in such a state of waiting this morning, I don't know what to write. John Dominic Crossan, I believe, reminded us that Caesar was called the Prince of Peace, and that the message in naming Jesus the Prince of Peace was to send a message to the Romans that peace is not the out come of beating others into submission, but is the result of making peace first, not as the quiet between the wars.
We are waiting for friends held in Iraq. The four CPT members. We wait with prayers for a good outcome, waiting for peace, waiting for hope, waiting so hard that I feel separated from the wait for "Christmas". In my neighborhood, it means walking sober through crowds last Seventh Day (Sat.) crowds of young people dressed in Santa Claus suits for a newly emerged holiday, the weekends before Christmas, Santa pub crawls, where bands of rowdy people stager around the streets drunk and dressed as Santa Claus.
Before my separation from that was a sort of bemused, "och, look at that..." Now, I am just sad.
But Jesus taught us an important thing. He taught us to seek joy in the worst times. To find peace in days like these. Last night at a meeting for worship with a concern for business, we spoke for a time about our friends, now missing... and a message came to me, that we may find joy in the expressions of tenderness for our friends from people and organizations hardened by war. Another friend said yes, that the hardest hearts are touched by loving truth. That the other day, a friend showed him a fragment of cloth. She told him it was a piece of the wedding dress of Mary Dyer, the Quaker martyr. It had come down in her family. She was the descendent of the man who hanged her. He had become convinced of Quakerism by Mary Dyer's courage.
Waiting for peace.