Scripture: Micah 3:9-4:5
Key verse: (4:3-4) He shall judge between many peoples, and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore; but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.
Reflection: This vision of peace is hard to imagine. Imagine rewriting the words to fit our context: They shall melt their AK47s to make cell towers and computer cables, and use their drones to deliver medicines…They shall fly on planes and gather for events without metal detectors or x-ray machines, and no one shall make them afraid.
No one shall make them afraid. The prophet knew that living without fear would be a great sign of God’s kingdom. If that’s the case, then I guess we are living pretty far removed from God’s kingdom. There is a long list of things to be afraid of right now.
As people of faith we acknowledge that this kind of deep peace may only be possible with the powerful transforming intervention of God. This peaceful vision will be realized in God’s future. In the meantime, we recognize that we are called to work for the coming of that kingdom. We are called to be peacemakers and risk-takers as we follow Jesus Christ where he leads us. On his journey to the cross Jesus chose not to take up a sword or a spear. He did not fight back and he did not run away. He did not let fear control his choices. May we also be free from fear so that we can follow him to live with love. May we be citizens of the peaceful kingdom rather than citizens of a warring and fearful world.
Prayer: God of peace, in Jesus Christ you show us the way to be truly human. We are afraid to follow him when we face danger. We take up our weapons too quickly and too easily. Forgive us and transform us. By your power make us citizens of your kingdom. Through Christ we pray. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].