(This post is my response and reflection in the aftermath of the tragic death of teachers and students, 19 children, of the Robb Elementary School, Uvalde, Texas.)
What would a weapon of war look like if it is turned into a tool for feeding the hungry? The prophets of the Old Testament have struggled to answer this question. Read Isaiah 2:4-5 and Micah 4:3-5, and you will see the imagery of swords being turned into plowshares.
“God shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks… O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord. You shall learn war no more, but you will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.” (Is. 2:4-5 & Mic. 4:3-5)
So, what would an AK-47 (or AR-15) look like when it is remanufactured as a tool to help us cook food for the hungry? What would a nuclear ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) look like if we retro-fit it for food production and distribution? So, what is your answer?
If I were to ask Jesus this question, he will probably not have a direct answer (not because he does not know an AK-47 or an ICBM). He will probably say:
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." --(Matthew 5:6-9)
Here is a song that I heard this Sunday morning, a song that captures my thoughts for this time of reflection:
God, Our Nation Feels The Loss. (Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. 2022)
God, our nation feels the loss
as our children pay the cost
for the violence we accept,
for the silence we have kept.
Rachel weeps for children gone;
God of love, this can’t go on!
Jesus, Lord, we hear you say,
“Don’t turn little ones away!”
May we build a kinder land
where our children understand:
Every child here matters more
that the guns we clamor for.
Holy Spirit, wind and flame,
send us out in Jesus’ name.
May we shout and say, “Enough!”
May we build a world of love—
till the sounds of weapons cease,
till our young can grow in peace.
Copyright © 2022 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.