I think I was about 10 years old when this became my favourite carol. It is full of reality and yet hope. Phrases like “Two thousand years of wrong” and “Men at war with man” deeply affected me – and still do. The writer tells it like it is and writes of “life’s crushing load” and “the weary road” and yet speaks about “peace on the whole earth ” and “the love song which they (the angels) bring”.
I write this at a very pertinent time in the United Kingdom. A British soldier walking the streets has been brutally murdered by two young men claiming that the killing was in the name of Allah. They wanted notoriety, and they certainly achieved it with their faces plastered all over the newspapers and our television screens. Tension is high and fear is causing many to say things against Muslims that they would not normally say. Some people have a vested interest in situations like this and the English Defence League and others were quick to promote riots.
It seems as though extremists on both sides had a great opportunity to exploit the situation and polarise views stirring up fear and hatred. But in the noise and clamour there are moderates, Christian, Muslim and Secular speaking out and seeking to produce peace. These are the peacemakers that Jesus said were blessed and called the sons of God. Continue reading “Blessed are the Peacemakers”