Seeking Peace Amidst the Turmoil

16 Oct 2023

In a heart-breaking and deeply moving service this past Sunday, our congregation came together to reflect upon the elusive dream of peace. As we lit our "Candles of Peace," the hallowed silence was pierced by a heart-wrenching testimony. One of our own shared the grievous loss of friends both in Gaza and Israel, painting a vivid picture of the human cost of conflict.

Flags, often symbols of pride and heritage, were discussed, with a grave note on their potential to symbolize division. When wielded without care, these flags can widen the chasm of understanding, pushing peace farther out of reach. In these divisive times, it's crucial to remember that beneath every flag, every label, every ideology, are people with dreams, hopes, and families. The real casualties of conflict are not political stances, but the innocent lives caught in the crossfire.

Reflecting on the wisdom of two giants of peace, the words of Nelson Mandela echoed in our hearts: "Peace is not just the absence of conflict; peace is the creation of an environment where all can flourish." Indeed, peace is not a passive state but an active promise, a commitment to fostering an environment where love and understanding can thrive.

Mahatma Gandhi's immortal words also rang true: "There is no 'way to peace,' there is only 'peace'." True peace, as Gandhi suggested, is not a destination at the end of a treacherous road but a journey in itself. It's a daily choice, an active pursuit, and a commitment to understanding and unity.

As Unitarians, we are bound by our shared commitment to the inherent worth and dignity of every person. In times of conflict, our faith calls us not to pick sides but to stand firmly on the side of love, understanding, and unity.

As we closed our service, we were reminded that peace begins with us. With every act of kindness, with every gesture of understanding, and with every dialogue we foster, we take a step closer to the world we dream of. It's a journey we must undertake together, bound by our shared hope for a brighter, more peaceful tomorrow.

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