Day 36: October 20, 2013
We'd scour the playground each morning for dangers. Most days we found bottles or broken glass. Often, we found needles, razor blades, and shell casings. We learned not to be surprised. We knew we could only protect the children during the day. Most lived in violent, impoverished neighborhoods.
We longed for a future like the prophet Isaiah describes, when sword would be beaten into plowshare and the people would go up to the mountain to learn and practice God's loving and peaceful ways.
That was three decades ago. Too many children still live in violent neighborhoods. Too many children are still killed by guns. Too many children are valued less than the right-to-bear automatic weapons. National budget priorities fund wars at the expense of children's services and programs.
The prophet offers hope to a people weary of violence and war. But hope is hollow if we refuse to see our collective sin that allows any child to grow up in poverty and violence.
Peacemaker God, teach us to walk in your light. Instill in us the urgency of beating our swords into plowshares for the sake of the children of Newtown, the thousands of children whose deaths and injuries never make the news, and those who hunger for bread. Give us hope and the will to make it a reality. Amen.
Condon United Church of Christ