The Peace Not Past Understanding

We pray for the peace not past understanding:
The peace of children laughing and students quietly studying,
Of young women dancing and men flirting beneath the stars.

The peace not past understanding:
Where no gunfire disrupts the night,
Where girls can walk downtown and not be afraid,
Where boys can turn eighteen and never register,
Where voices of hatred and intolerance find no hearing in the public square,

The peace of decisions democratically determined,
Where opportunities for a decent life are equitably shared:
Not the peace of gated communities,
The false security of padlocked doors or walled borders,
But the peace that reigns when people come together to solve their problems
in a world where national boundaries are rapidly falling away.

We pray for peace in this world, here and now,
Not for deliverance in the sweet hereafter,
But for the kind of promised land foretold by prophets of old:

A land of milk and honey (real milk and real honey),
No GMO’s or bovine growth hormone,
But certified organic and pesticide free,

Where swords are beaten into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks,
Re-tooling the economy from military to civilian manufacture,

Where justice will roll down like waters,
Unpolluted by urban run-off,

And each shall labor beneath his own vine and fig tree,
On small family owned farms,
Not as underpaid minions of corporate agribusiness,

Proclaiming liberty to the captives
Of the prison industrial complex,

Bringing the oil of gladness
Instead of dependence on Middle Eastern crude,

And where a young child shall lead them,
Not a plutocracy of withered old men,
But youth unencumbered by ancient animosities,
A rising generation in an emerging planetary culture.

Good God, remind us of your vision for us, your promise of a peace not far off but close at hand, not a mere dream but a better future waiting to be made real, when people will build houses and live to inhabit them, plant trees and eat their fruit, and none shall hurt or destroy.