A long time ago, during a time of intense hate and division, a great prophet had a vision which has come down to us through time:
"The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder's den.
They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea." - Isaiah 11:6-9 (NRSV)
A vision of peace. A world safe for children. Can you imagine? It seems we have lost our ability to even imagine peace any more. Israel and her Arab neighbors are forever on attack mode. North and South Korea wanting to destroy each other. Russia out to dominate it's old Soviet Union underlings, and manipulating Trump to look the other way. Syrian children fleeing war and being denied refuge. That prophet Isaiah must have been smoking something to have imagined it could be any other way.
Perhaps it is because we have lost our ability to imagine peace that Trump's bellicose ways have garnered less attention than his many other outrageous acts. Let him build up our nuclear arsenal and team up with Putin to intimidate the world. Why not? Peace is just a pipe dream anyway.
But here is where another long-cherished biblical truth comes into play: "Where there is no vision, the people perish" (Proverbs 29:18, KJV). I have children and grandchildren, and they are the reason I refuse to let go of the vision. And so I hold fast to one other biblical vision:
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God" (Matthew 5:9, NRSV).