2013 is just around the corner. Every year at this time I start to think about resolutions. The other day over supper my son suggested that we, as a family, should write down our resolutions. Then put them on the fridge as a way of keeping us all accountable. The conversation quickly turned to what I would commit to; his one caveat was that I couldn’t ask for world peace. With that off the table I immediately defaulted to more practical matters, namely my weight. With this in mind my 2013 resolution is to weigh what my driver’s license says I weigh. That said I am not quite ready to give up the big dreams. 2012 has been a year of too much violence, from theater shootings in Aurora to children in Connecticut murdered in cold blood. This is not good and ways must be found to stop this. It is not the kind of world any of us want to live in. A few years ago Vince Gill sung, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” A cynical person might say these words are a little naïve and unrealistic. There is also a sense, in which these lyrics echo another naïve teacher:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies…”
Jesus, Matthew 5:39-44
I am the first to admit that I do not know what it means to love someone who wants to harm those closest to me. In the United States we are privileged to have a cloud of witnesses who can help us walk this path. Martin Luther King Jr. is one person who comes to mind. His message of love and non-resistance in the face of an overwhelming opposition that repeatedly tried to murder him, his friends, his supporters, and family provides a prophetic testimony for us today.
I for one am not giving up on peace for 2013.