We took peace as the theme of our meeting last Sunday.
By coincidence this week happens to be the week of the National Eisteddfod, this year in Denbigh. Every year they award the top prizes in special ceremonies.
There’s pomp and ceremony. All the Gorsedd (the ruling body of the Eisteddfod) come on wearing formal robes. The winner is announced, by their bardic name, and stands up to be recognised. Lots more formality, and then before the winner is crowned the audience is asked if they are in agreement with the result, literally “A Oes Heddwch?” – is there peace?
The audience shout back “Peace. The Archdruid asks again, “The truth against the world – is there peace?” And they shout back peace, and the prize is awarded, “in the peace of the Eisteddfod”.
But one year I watched the ceremoney on the Welsh news, and there had been a dispute about someone being disqualified (I can’t remember the details). When he asked, “is there peace?” someone shouted out “Nac Oes” – no there isn’t.
The Archdruid looked a bit thrown, but he carried on, saying “I think we can ignore that single dissenting voice”, and he awarded the prize.
The problem is it didn’t work. All they talked about on the news was the dissent, the complaint that caused it, was it justified?
If there is something disturbing peace, then you can’t pretend it’s not there. Because it is, and trying to cover it up usually just makes it worse.
Peace isn’t covering up something wrong. It’s dealing with it.
It might be something between you and someone else – and Jesus said before you try to come to God, put right the things wrong between you and others.
Or it might be something between you and God. In which case, face it and sort it out. Jesus came so that we could sort it out with God. Or you’ll end up like the Archdruid at the Eisteddfod, looking foolish, or worse.