The prophet Isaiah, whose words we read in Advent, gives us wonderful images of peace and of the restoration of Zion—images of the wolf living with the lamb, of waters breaking forth out of the wilderness, of a land where there shall be “no lion, nor any ravenous beast.”
I can’t read these passages, however, without remembering Woody Allen’s comment that when lion and calf lie down together, only the lion will get back up. I also recall something Dietrich Bonhoeffer said about peace being the opposite of security—peace is a great venture, something to be dared.
The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) recently made what it thought was a daring decision on behalf of peace. It decided to begin a process of selected, phased divestment from corporations whose business is deemed harmful to Palestinians and Israelis. The response to this decision inside and outside Presbyterian congregations has been vigorous and heated—and not exactly peaceful.