- By Paul Hughes
I’ve seen many people posting this phrase within their Facebook statuses or in the form of a picture on their walls… “Pray For The Peace Of Jerusalem.” I think we all can agree that peace in Jerusalem (and its surrounding areas) would be a very good thing. You’ll be happy (I hope) to know that I’m not about to pick a side to support over the course of this post, so if that is what you came to watch me do, go somewhere else to read a one-sided argument (you should be satisfied with either one—they sound similar). Instead, I’m going to merely suggest that there are better things we could be doing with our time than praying for the peace of Jerusalem.
Now before you start huffing and puffing, please hear me out. This is a short post, and you owe it to me (well, not really) to read the whole thing. Here’s the truth: I see no evidence that anyone’s God gives a darn about peace in Jerusalem, unless the darn he gives is that peace in Jerusalem never exist. I also see no evidence that anyone’s prayers are going to convince said God to change his mind.
We all agree, as I stated in the first paragraph, that the equation “Jerusalem + Peace = Good” balances. It makes sense, and it is something we all want. Ok, now put your algebra hat on—we’re going to isolate Jerusalem in the equation. We, of course, subtract Peace from both sides and get “Jerusalem = Good – Peace.” Now if you multiply in “people”, then you’ll see that Jerusalem people are all good people—they just aren’t at peace.
The above is, of course, a silly representation of truth, but at least it held your attention this far and it may have left time for some of your rage to evaporate. My point is that the people of Jerusalem are good people. I generalize about the people, of course, but I’ve always been an optimistic person regarding others. And I’m not talking just about the people in Jerusalem but also in Gaza and all of Israel and that whole explosive part of the world—I abbreviate to “Jerusalem,” just like the people who say “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” are doing. I’m just saying that the people on both sides want the same thing: peace… and some land—but we’ll focus on peace.
So what can we do? What is it that could possibly be a better use of our time than praying for the peace of Jerusalem? Ignoring most things, one thing that I think would be a better use of our time is to suggest solutions. Praying for peace, whether it works or not, is not viable because it doesn’t propose a “how.” We could spend our time figuring out how to achieve peace using non-supernatural means. Another thing we could do is to raise awareness about the issue and encourage those around us to join and help resolve the situation (that’s what I’m doing).
I don’t know what the solution is, and even if I did, it would be a long reach before anyone in power would do anything about it. But trying to find a solution is certainly a step in the right direction. If you have the time to pray for the peace, then you have time to try and help achieve the peace. Maybe it’s just me, but I think that humans are amazingly powerful and amazingly good—we just need to work together. Bringing God into the picture has never helped achieve peace; it just makes people angry—if you don’t believe me, just take a look at Jerusalem.
So, what do you think we can do to help achieve peace in Jerusalem. What needs to happen in order for that peace to be achieved?