A reflection taken from the book I wrote with Frances called, ‘Like a Child’ based on things our children said when they were younger:
Hannah (when aged seven) Jonathan (when aged five)
In preparation for November 5th, my children learnt the ‘Sparkler Code’ at school. They returned home full of information about fireworks. On bonfire night, Jonathan said, ‘Dad, I’m allowed to have sparklers because I’m over five!’ That ever-important year made all the difference. Hannah also declared that she needed gloves because ‘sparklers are very very hot!’
I learnt a lesson that day: It was all about the importance of remembering and the usefulness of ‘codes’. The message the school had effectively communicated was: ‘Remember the Firework Code.’ Of course, learning from the past and paying attention to guidelines is an important discipline for all ages.
Shortly after Guy Fawkes’ night is Remembrance Sunday, when many reflect upon the pain and suffering caused by past wars in the world. There’s a longing that lessons may be learnt and that divided people may be reconciled to each other. Sadly, the sparks of friction still lead to the use of gunpowder or worse, across the nations. Perhaps the longed for peace in the world begins with ordinary people like me, individuals who remember the past and are prepared to work at their own relationships.
So here’s my very own ‘Peace Code’, rather than a firework one:
‘Remember to follow the teaching of peacemakers, like Jesus.
Beware of explosive situations and approach with caution.
Stand well back from unnecessary arguments.
Beware of short fuses and be patient.
Don’t put God in your pocket.
Never throw insults around.
Learn how to use ‘kid gloves’.
Never cause children to stumble.
And keep pet hates locked up out of harm’s way!’
So, why not keep the code throughout the year?
Peace be with you.
Suggested Bible Readings:
Live at peace with everyone Romans 12:9-21
Love is I Corinthians 13:1-13
The beatitudes Matthew 5:1-12
If only people would live in love and peace with one another;
if only people would heed Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount or the teaching of St Paul;
then the world would be a different place – a better place!
Merciful Father, forgive.
By your Spirit, turn me into a peacemaker,
for the kingdom’s sake. Amen.
Copyright Anthony D. and Mrs Frances H. Miles 2003