A few days ago we rented The End of the Spear, a film about missionaries who worked among the Waodani people of the Amazon basin. Throughout their history, the Waodani's culture was marked by the cycle of revenge. Each generation was exacting revenge on their neighbors for killing their family members... who of course were speared in revenge for earlier violence. And the cycle continued until one village was willing to stop the violence and choose to follow the path of a God of love and forgiveness rather than vengeance and retribution. They chose the end of the spear rather than dying at the end of the spear.
Today the Israeli government attacked Lebanon and the Gaza strip again, in retaliation for soldiers who were captured by Palestinians and for rockets launched into Israel. Of course, the soldiers were taken and the rockets launched in retaliation for earlier violence which came in response to earlier violence.
This evening I heard a commentator on the radio speaking about Ithe ongoing violence between the Israelis and the Palestinains. The commentator remarked that he could not see an end to the violence until one of the two peoples had been completely iradicated. Neither would willingly choose to end the cycle of revenge.
I hope the commentator is wrong. I hope that someone will have the courage to say" "no to revenge and stop the cycle of violence. I hope that politicians around the world, especially in America, will apply pressure on all of the parties to end the killing and let the place be what we call it - a holy land, marked by forgiveness and love, shaped by the presence of God, held in the hope of a future of shalom/salam.