Memorial Day reminds us that the peaceable kingdom of God is the Promised Land on our planet, a civilization in which there are no longer any conflicts that cause death. After thousands of years we can finally see it on the horizon as we move toward it.
When I was growing up, the whole world was involved in war. Following World War II there was a long period of cold war when nations waved nuclear weapons at each other and people built air raid shelters in their basements. Then there were the regional wars such as the war in Korea and the gruesome Vietnam War fought in the jungles. Today there are still regional wars taking place, but the death tolls are decreasing.
Roughly 700 years before Jesus came, the prophet Isaiah wrote “He (God) shall judge between nations, and will arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isa 2:4 NRSV). With the help of Jesus Christ and aided by science we are gradually learning how to deal with conflicts. The pace has quickened in the 21st century due to dramatic improvements in communication. People all over the world are connected by computers, iPhones and the Internet and are talking to each other.
In the 21st century, we can see the Promised Land, but we are not there yet and it will take the best effort from all of us to get there.
Robert C. Frank
Author of Christ’s Team