My little brother once wrote a song about and dedicated to soldiers, the title of which is something like My Immortal Friend. It praises their bravery and lauds their purpose, enshrining their deeds in such a way as to idolize them.
This morning in church I had a curious moment. During one prayer the orator requested from God a blessing upon our nation's military, especially those who are in harm's way. Now generally speaking, I am very much a pacifist. If fighting didn't work on the playground, I normally fail to see how it works anywhere else. More often than not, even those who are not pacifists are not proud of saying that people have died, especially at their hands.
Back to my thought. Upon hearing this benediction, for the first time I wondered how wonderful it would be if such forces as military were deemed unnecessary. Can you imagine it? It would be simply magnificent if we didn't have to pray for soldiers in harm's way, not because it's not our soldiers dying, but because the need for soldiers is nonexistent!
So this is my new prayer: I pray now for a time when we no longer need military or violence. I pray for an age to come in which there is no such place or time which must be called "harm's way." I pray for the return of the Lord, the Christ whose first coming caused such an uproar that the world was forever turned on its head.
It is this Lord whose reign renders obsolete the need for death, the desire for the self, the greed that leads to murder.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.