“Only a peace between equals can last. Only a peace the very principle of which is equality and a common participation in a common benefit.”
The Bible tells us of a God who acknowledges, believes, and engages in this form of equality to achieve peace.
Genesis tells the story of a God who walked among humanity, in peace, as their equal. Well, that was, until humanity was convinced that the relationship was one sided. As the story goes, Adam and Eve were convinced that God was superior to them and instead of enjoying the fact that God would choose to be more like them, they took action to make themselves more like God.
The repercussions of this story have been reverberating throughout history ever since. Humans are STILL trying to make themselves more like God, despite God’s efforts to meet us on our own level.
The gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) tell us the story of a God who took love and peace so seriously that he renounced his own divinity, his God-like qualities, and took the form of a human being; but not just any human being… NO! He took the form of a poor, homeless, no-good, hick-town, Jewish boy who’s mother was an unmarried fourteen year old girl that gave birth in a barn. That means blood, guts, cow shit… the whole nine yards.
The ultimate Creator of the universe. The Almighty. The Alpha and Omega. The All Powerful…
…gave it up and became flesh and bone. Became breakable. Became poor. Died. To achieve peace.
Humility is the cost of peace. The strong must become weak. The proud must be humbled. The rich must become poor.
It applies to humanity. We are to follow in God’s footsteps. The example that Jesus Christ has given us for achieving peace is the path of love. As a nation, as a state, as a community, and as individuals we must break and humble ourselves if we truly wish to achieve peace.
The United States must relinquish it’s military and nuclear power, not make it larger, to achieve peace.
Each state must patiently endure lost autonomy, not fight at any perceived slight, to achieve unity.
Every community must consider others better than themselves, not vice versa, to achieve completeness.
And every individual must spend as much time, money, and energy giving rather than taking, to achieve harmony.
Shalom does not simply mean peace. Shalom means peace, completeness, well-being, right-living, harmony, and unity.
Shalom is when everyone prospers.
Politically, parties would have you believe efforts focused on helping one group or another will lead to benefits to all groups, but even that hinges on the belief that the one group being blessed will in turn bless the others. What we, our communities, our states, our nation, and our world need is more humility.
Humility of the rich to choose less money so others can have more. The humility of the strong to choose not to oppress the weak. The humility of the wise not to abuse the foolish.
We must follow the example given to us and choose humility for the sake of equality and to bring about peace.