Peace brings different religions together
Friday, January 4, 2013
The most commonly used Hebrew word is “Shalom,” which means peace, and is used as a greeting and a farewell.
“Peace” is a valued concept in most world religions.
“It is impossible to fulfill basic human physical and emotional needs when peace is absent,” said Warren Solomon, speaking on behalf of several members of Temple Beth El. “Thus, people of all religions, when they think in universal terms, recognize that peace is absolutely necessary for human living.”
The Jewish people in its history have most often been a people without a land of their own, living as a minority in the lands of other peoples, Solomon said.
They have often lived in fear, for good reasons, among the Romans and among Christians during the Crusades, during the Inquisition, and during pogroms in Central and Eastern Europe, he continued.
“Hence, the Jewish people often crave peace for their own physical survival and for their survival as a people,” Solomon continued. “Some Jews seek a peaceful life in Israel; others seek peace wherever they live as good citizens working with others to make their communities safe and good for all.”
Through the Torah, the prophets and words of inspiration, God gave men, whom he created, the ability to overcome unique differences and personal wants.
“Most importantly, he gave us free will,” Solomon and his writers said. “He knew it had to be our choice, our challenge that if we want to live up to his image.
“We have to strive, work to achieve it, or peace would not have meaning, it would be a norm that we were accustomed to having.”
Jesus gives a peace “qualitatively different” from the world’s peace and that “passes human comprehension,” said the Rev. Doyle Sager, senior pastor at First Baptist Church.
The prophesies remembered during the recent Advent season from Micah 5:2-5 and Isaiah 2:4 remind Christians “peace is more than having things my way or simply the absence of conflict,” Sager continued.
“Peace is only possible where there is justice, that is, where everyone is secure,” Sager said. “Peace is God’s creation healed, where nothing and no one is broken, and all is in its place.
“It is the Hebrew concept of wholeness, shalom, fullness, completing God’s intention.”
Luke 1:79 in The Message translation says God’s mercy will shine in the dark world “showing us the way, one foot at a time, down the path of peace.”
“I like that, because it reminds us that peace between people or nations or groups does not come with one dramatic event, but in many small ways, one step at a time, as we work at healthy relationships in the power of the Spirit,” Sager said. “This is my calling as a follower of Jesus, in my family, among friends, at church, in Jefferson City, and in the world.”
The Unity belief emphasizes peace of mind, said Sharon Allmond, pastor of Unity Church of Peace.
The song “Let There Be Peace on Earth” is part of weekly Sunday services.
“We believe when we are holding resentment, anger, jealousy or fear in our minds, we’ll see more of those,” Allmond said. “When we are peaceful, we experience peace in our lives, and/or we are more able to remain peaceful, even in challenging times.”
If individuals strive to be peaceful, they might learn to live more in harmony with each other, Allmond said.
“We would be more likely to take the high road when dealing with business associates; we would strive to find peaceful solutions to conflicts and disagreements,” Allmond said. “The peace of Christ allows us to step away from petty negativity and to view the world in a loving way.”