Remembering Who We Are

A shortened form of this reading is part of our Peace Sunday worship for Remembrance Day, November 11, 2012. This is the full version from the MCC Peace Packet 2012.

Remembering Who We Are
by Michele Rae Rizoli

Sisters, brothers, friends, we’ve called this Peace Sunday
It’s the proverbial string we tie around our finger every year so we won’t forget

On Peace Sunday we remember who we are,
who we propose to be

We are children of God’s Peace
“We who were formerly no people at all, and who knew of no peace, are now called to be… a church… of peace. True Christians do not know vengeance. They are the children of peace. Their hearts overflow with peace. Their mouths speak peace, and they walk in the way of peace.” (to quote Menno Simons)

We are followers of this Jesus who
described the blessed vision for the realm of God
We’ve decided not to just put it off until “some heaven light years away” [Here in this place by Mary Haugen]
We believe peace is to be dared “here in this place”,
We believe peace is to be imagined in our times
In God’s name, by Jesus’ example, in hope of his truth
We believe the beatitudes are not just a pretty metaphor
We don’t just pine away for peace,
we believe that with God’s direction and protection
we can actually work for peace — like the MCC button says

We take this job description seriously: this blessing and being blessed
We are the ones who value the poor in spirit, the humble, the meek
We are the ones who will comfort the mourning,
and find comfort with each other and with God
We are the ones who seek nourishment and fulfillment by seeking justice,
who break this bread and drink this cup with others and on behalf of others
We crave and serve up mercy, because God is love and has loved us first
We do not see the world with malice but with purity

We choose to be peacemakers, in the big things and in the little,
we choose not to be bullies – not to put others down so that we can look good,
we choose to be friends — even to the ones who are… different,
we choose not to use nor defend violence against others in any way
— even if we think they deserve it,
even in our cars and on our facebook comments
even if we have to choose to do this everyday
over and over again
we choose to see in the face of the other
the face of another human being like us

We are game for the hard work of disagreement
of not walking away on first instinct
of looking for reconciliation,
of regarding others through the eyes of God’s love
When facing indignation,
we have imagination for transformation [Walter Brueggemann]
We know this is misunderstood and terribly misinterpreted
by those who believe that we are naïve,
that war is necessary, ordinary
that questioning is unpatriotic, idiotic
Yet
we persist in living out the realm of God
Sisters, brothers, friends
We are people of God’s Peace.