Futami Masayoshi, Chair of Treasurer Committee
Mark the blameless, and behold the upright,
for there is posterity for the peaceable. (Psalm 37:37)
NCC held the 70th Anniversary Missionary Conference in July this year, and adopted the “NCC Mission Declaration 2019.” The word "peace" is used seven times in the declaration.
Every midsummer of August, we fully realize the preciousness of "peace" on many occasions in our country. Our hearts are awakened to the preciousness of peace at this moment, not even in retrospect to the memorial of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the walk to defeat. However, the Bible does not necessarily pretend that "peace" is the opposite of "war" but "continuation of reconciliation between God and man." That is "Peace of Christ, peace in Christ."
In the Gospel according to Matthew, there is a scene in which Jesus speaks to the twelve disciples, saying, "As you enter the house, greet it." (Matthew 10:12). It may be called “training scene of the evangelical approach” in our modern language. I wish we could say in the church this greeting, Shalom (=peace), like we say "Hello."
By the way, we are making efforts to tell the next generation that we should not repeat the suffering of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is an important thing for keeping the peace, and I am one who deeply sympathizes with that thought. As our experiences in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, our neighbors in Korea still remember the people who were forcefully made comfort women by the Japanese Army during the war and those who were worked as recruiters. Even though we assert the issue was solved between the governments, they are still raising voices. When we turn our minds to each of our "non-peaceful states", I strongly hope to walk together as I listen to the voices wishing to be able to say hello (Shalom=Peace) to each other beyond generations.
In the adopted “NCC Mission Declaration 2019”, the theme verse of the 40th General Assembly period is written, “Maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4: 3-4). Let's walk in the prayers of "peace" again this year, in the thankful summer.