Union Ridge Church

Monday, February 15, 2021

by Reverend Dan on February 15, 2021

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”

                                                                                                Matthew 5:9


During the alter 20th century there was an ongoing conflict in Northern Ireland known as “The Troubles.”  It was a violent war between the overwhelmingly Protestant unionists (the loyalists) and the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic nationalists (republicans).  While it may appear to have been a “religious” war, it wasn’t. The loyalist desired the province to remain part of the United Kingdom, and the republicans wanted Northern Ireland to become part of the republic of Ireland.


During that time there was a city that was so divided, part of the population called it Londonderry and the others called it Derry. (And it remains a city with two names to this day.)


In this city Protestants live on the east bank and Catholics on the west bank. There’s still very little socialization between the two group, but as part of the end of the conflict (it went on from 1968 until it ended with the Good Friday Agreement of 1998), one of the solutions was to build a bridge between the two banks. The 900-foot bridge curves like a snake and is for walkers, joggers, and cyclists. They named it “Peace Bridge” because that’s what they hoped for – a bridge to bring peace to a war-torn nation.


It seems to me it’s time to build a few bridges in this country. Lots of listening and trying to understand the “other side” is calling us to become builders of bridges instead of walls. As Christians and as human beings, we need to tear down the walls of prejudice, hate, and bigotry (and all the other things that separate us), and build bridges to reach out to the other side so that we can bring peace to our nation and our world.


As children of God, we are called to no less.


God of Peace help us to be Your Voice in the world so that we can all look forward to a brighter and more peaceful day . In Jesus’ name, AMEN