Rachel Pieh Jones writes a blog I follow (time permitting), and this fall she ran an interesting series I can't stop thinking about. So, I thought I'd throw it out for some of you to voice your thoughts and opinions...
I've included an excerpt from each post, a screen shot and a link. If you take the time to read, please comment.
"I wrote PBUH (peace be upon him) because it is a respectful thing to say. In the three weeks we have been back in Djibouti, my husband and I have each greeted dozens of people by saying, in Arabic, 'Peace be upon you.' 99% of them respond with, 'And also on you.' A few stare at us, silent.
One said, 'You can’t say that.'
Silence, then, 'Well, I won’t respond.'
'You don’t wish me peace?'
This public conversation stirred up a passionate discussion about whether or not Muslims and non-Muslims can wish one another peace. The eventual, general consensus was yes, they can. And yes, they should.
That doesn't mean people agree on everything. I don't even agree with my husband on everything but we can live in peace, we can sharpen one another, we can make each other better and stronger and braver and more faith-filled...."
"Yes, I’m writing about Moses. Why not throw some of his story in here too? Mainly, I’m writing about Moses because I read this verse in the Tawrat, or the Old Testament, or the Torah, depending on how you like it.
It was strikingly fitting.
Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.”
You need only to be still.
Do you know where Moses was when he said this? He was between the Red Sea and a raging army of furious Egyptians, recently deprived of all their slaves, and led by Pharaoh, father of a recently dead son.
This might have been a good time for the people to brandish their swords, to pick up stones from the desert, and to work on their aim. It might have been a good time for Moses to give a moving sermon on how evil Pharaoh was, to describe a caricature offensive enough to stir the people to bloody passion.
Instead he advocates stillness.
Let God fight for you. Let God defend you and protect you...."
"...The way of Jesus doesn’t guarantee power or honor or fame or beauty or ease or worldly success. It doesn’t guarantee anything except that, “through many tribulations we must enter the Kingdom of God.”
Jesus never promised or tried to create world peace. Instead, he loved the unlovable, forgave the unforgivable, healed the shattered, comforted the grieving, strengthened the weary, gave honor to the shamed. He tore open the curtain between heaven and earth. He took on disgrace and abuse and became our peace.
And so, today, people try to walk in his footsteps, to live like he did. No one can succeed at this, we are all weak and needy and selfish. But people can press on in hope because Jesus didn’t force peace, or wish it, or wait still-ly for it.
He became it."
What thoughts run through your mind
after reading these ideas?
Do you agree?