July 2007 - Volume 11, Issue 12

Editorial – Bring Peace Into Our Family

By Rev. Mark Connolly

Photo of a puzzleOne of the most interesting stories that you ever hear from the pulpit is a story of a man who had a son who loved to assemble jigsaw puzzles. One Sunday the father was reading the newspaper and he saw a picture of a large map of the world. Knowing that his son liked jigsaw puzzles he tore the newspaper up in small pieces and said to the son, "let's see if you can put this jig saw puzzle together". His son started to work on the jig saw puzzle and in a matter of minutes he was back to his father and the puzzle was totally finished. The father was amazed that he could assemble this complicated puzzle in such a short span of time. He asked his son how did he do it? His son simply said, "Dad, I noticed when you were tearing up the picture of the map of the world that on the other side of that newspaper was a picture of a family. I found out that if you could put the family back together the rest of the world could take care of itself".

There are many lessons from this story. All of them pertain to peace, whether it is peace in the family or peace in the world. But the principal lesson behind this story is that each one is capable of doing something to bring more peace into our land by making sure we make every effort to bring peace into our family.

Recently I finished the book, Patience Faith and Fantasy, by Dr. Michael Oren and in the book he is describing all of the peace treaties that have been made and broken since the time of Woodrow Wilson and the League of Nations. He told how President Regan, President Bush, President Carter and President Clinton, all have made extremely serious efforts to bring peace to the Holy Land. The treaty is signed, the signatures are put on the treaty and a short time later those treaties have been broken. There is no question about the sincerity of purpose, the sincerity of effort of trying to bring peace into the Middle East. But these efforts for the most part have failed. One of the things we have learned from history is that great movements start from the bottom. They start with an individual or a family who becomes passionate about a cause and the cause does a lot of good for society. When you think of mothers against drunk driving, Alcoholics Anonymous, organizations like this that started in or near someone's home life. They have done a terrific amount of good for our country.

Emily Dickinson once said, "if I could prevent one sparrow from falling or one heart from breaking, I will have not lived in vain". Thomas Carlisle wrote the famous line, "I shall only pass this way but once any good that I can do let me do it now for I shall not pass this way again". Each one of us should learn from the individual in our own age who have become passionate about a cause. If each one made that serious effort to better his home life, to bring the charity of Christ and the compassion of Christ into his home life, that betters not only his own life, but the society in which all of us live. Christ has given us a reminder to love one another as I have loved you. When you look at all of the hatred that exists, especially in the Middle East, where Christ preached his doctrine of love, it is the reminder we have to bring that same doctrine of love into our own society.

Christ once said "when I was hungry you gave me to eat, when I was thirsty you gave me to drink, when I was naked you clothed me". Those are the basic acts of charity that each one can bring into our own family and into the families nearest us. That kind of philosophy spreads into every society and enriches it. There is no question about it, our leaders have to continue to try to bring peace into the Middle East. If they only get peace for one day through a treaty it is well worth the effort. We can never get discouraged by the fact that our best efforts are often ignored. We always have to keep in mind that if we bring the principles of Christ into our own home and into our own families the rest of the world will take care of itself.