Tulsa, Charlotte, and the International Day of Peace

It seems every day of the year is marked by some special occasion or item to celebrate. Today is an important one. As I write this, it is the International Day of Peace. At first glance, sounds a bit fluffy, but it should be serious business. Especially as the families of Terence Crutcher and Keith Lamont Scott are grieving the shooting deaths of their loved ones. Especially as the communities of Tulsa and Charlotte are dealing with the effects of two more police shootings of unarmed black men.

Our cry of “how long O Lord” becomes easily dulled when the answer seems to be “too long.” More lives are lost. More communities are fractured by violence and mistrust. We cry “Christ have mercy” but silently wonder whether Christ has any mercy left for us.

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be

Most love this song, “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” We love to sing it until we realize the cost. Peace begins with me. Peace is not a gift we receive, it is a gift that we partner with God in ushering into the world. We have skin in this game.

You cannot have peace without justice. They go hand- in- hand. As a person of privilege, this truth confronts my comfort zone at its core. . This morning as I read with a heavy heart the stories of Terence Crutcher and Keith Lamont Scott, I am confronted with my own privilege and how hesitant I can be at putting skin in the game when it comes to peace.

Justice goes hand in hand with peace. Justice often causes us to give up some point of personal privilege so that all may know the fullness of life. The peace that was meant to be is peace that might just come with some personal cost or at the very least, some personal discomfort.

Maybe our prayer today should be “Let It Begin with Me.” Can we pray it like we mean it? Not just lip service on this day, but with actual intention.

We need to  put our privilege aside for the ultimate privilege, being a part of ushering in God’s peace in the world. That’s the privilege that counts for something. That’s the privilege that ushers in justice for all.

What will you do today, in the course of your normal day, to usher peace into the world?

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s