Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Peace on Earth

I have to believe in God. Jah. Allah. Nyame Nankopon, according to the Ashanti. Yocahu Vagua Maorocoti, according to the Taino. The Supreme Being of the Hindus. The God of Gods of so many belief systems. Outside of such a Being, things fail to make sense to me. I believe that this Supreme Being is a Personal God, though I am painfully aware as I set this down that my conception of Divine Person does not begin to approach the nature of this God, this "I Am Who Am". I do know some things about I Am Who Am, however, and those things are well summed up in the Rastafarian greeting, "Peace and love". I Am Who Am is a God of Peace and a God of Love. I Am Who Am is not a God of War, nor a God of Hate. People who make war, who kill, maim and murder, and people who inculcate hate, do not do so in the name of, nor with the approval of I Am Who Am. Regardless of the circumstances. I Am Who Am is also a God of Power – not Anybody I, for one, would want to provoke. We were made by this Divinity so we could love one another, and help one another. Earth was made by this Divinity so that we might take care of it, and it might sustain us. None of us have any entitlements. Indeed, I don't believe we really have any rights. (More on this in due course.) What we have are relative privileges and concomitant responsibilities. And there is no way around any of this. As Martin Luther King Jr. so famously said, "We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools." The slaves sang it for us. The gospel singers and the folk singers have kept it firmly in our face. "God gave Noah the rainbow sign. No more water but the fire next time." Read the news. Seems to me the fires have started. If we don't wake up soon, sell our SUVs, exercise our franchise (more on this soon as well) and choose leaders who know the value of Kyoto, then we all best get accustomed to the smell of roasting human flesh. I'm ending with As-Salāmu `Alaykum (السلام عليكم). It is an Arabic language greeting used by both Muslims and Christians and it means "Peace be upon you." I am reminded of what the angels sang at the birth of Jesus, Jesus being a prophet revered in Islam as well as the Messiah of Christian belief. They didn't sing, "All Hail the Messiah!" They didn't sing, "Behold the Son of God!" THIS is what they sang: "Peace on earth. Good will to human beings." Selah.

5 comments:

geoffreyphilp101@gmail.com said...

As-Salāmu `Alaykum (السلام عليكم), Pam.

clarabella said...

As-Salāmu `Alaykum (السلام عليكم), Geoff. I just came back from Jamaica, where sensible, educated people failed to exercise their franchise because they just "couldn't bring themselves to vote for X – or, presumably Y - party". Poor Thomas Jefferson, with his notion that we ought to be eternally vigilant for freedom. I'm not sure what we are eternally vigilant for, but I live in Hope, for that's a better location than Gutters! (It's Martin's joke, really.) Be well and prosper. Pam

FSJL said...

As a St Elizabeth person, I must point out that Gutters is a better address than Hope....

clarabella said...

Hi Prof:
Pull rank. Okay. Gutters is better than Hope. Now would I fight you on that? No chance. I love St Elizabeth too much, and Hope (where the good UWI is located, on a, is it former? plantation), has held no enchantments for me. So I'm with you on Gutters. But you know, for the sake of argument, one fiddles with things...

FSJL said...

Indeed so!! :)