On 8 May we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. An amazing time lies behind us, lies behind Europe. It still lives among us with many contemporary witnesses. There has hardly ever been such a time in conflict-ridden Europe. But this was not the same for all Europeans, if you think back to the many victims of the Yugoslavian wars only a few decades ago or to the still smouldering conflict in Eastern Ukraine. People in Eastern and Western Europe have experienced this epoch differently. But despite all the tensions it was a relatively “peaceful” time for most of them.
For peace, somebody always has to pay the price
Many people today are no longer aware that the EU began as a peace project. The founding fathers never wanted such a horrible war again. So, they gave up mutual rights to prevent war.
The prosperity in many European countries has contributed to peace. But it had and still has its price. Today the suffering creation cries out loud because of all kinds of waste dumped on it. Even exploited people in low-wage countries moan about the prices they have to pay.
In totalitarian countries, “peace and stability” often came at the expense of freedom or to the disadvantage of suppressed minorities.
Peace – more than absence of war
Peace must be cultivated, shaped and secured again and again. It cannot be enforced, because as soon as it is at the expense of others, there are losers. Where there are losers, the next conflict is already right on the doorstep.
Peace through reconciliation
The attempt to exchange land for peace, for example, has often failed. There is only peace through reconciliation and then one can negotiate about “occupied land”.
How peace is achieved through reconciliation, God has shown through Jesus Christ. You can read about this in His book, the Bible, as it is the theme of Lent and the following Easter feast. And He calls His ground personnel, the Christians, to take part in His work.