People ask, do you have faith? Presumably they mean in something. Doesn’t that question seem lacking in ambition? It’s the “Yes, I believe in something and that something doesn’t require anything at all from me to take care of me,” answer to living life. It’s lazy.
Faith requires a far more active verb than simply holding. The verb that best suits Faith is keeping. We keep faith with the things we believe by doing work that models that in the world. If we believe Peace to be the utmost possibility, how can we, why would we keep from delighting in it, being grateful for it, pointing it out to folks when it shows up, and practicing it so that others might consider participation?
There are certainly those who would suggest that this is heretical to the concept of Peace, that Peace is simply an ephemeral, dazzling presence. Instead, I find Peace to be very concrete. Peace requires sacred obligations to take every opportunity to be loving to humanity, to the planet, and to the atmosphere. We keep faith with the planet that gives us life. We keep faith with the relationships that give life meaning. We keep faith with the commands to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly.* That is keeping faith with belief.
Many complaints are leveled against the 20-35-year-old cohorts since few of them belong to any religious tradition. And yet they are so active in caring for and changing the world in which they live — working to make the world healthier and more just. What are they if not faithful? What, if not keeping faith in the Possible alive?
And that is Peacemaking. We should all be doing it. It’s not easy, but eventually it becomes automatic. It becomes so clearly the thing you do. What does keeping Faith look like for you?
Salaam, Shalom, Peace. Blessed be.
*Hebrew Scriptures, Micah 6:8