One of my more eccentric habits is that I carry a worn 1922 silver dollar in my wallet or pocket. The coin is part companion and part fidget-spinner. It is also a useful prop for several games I can lead with youth and children anywhere and anytime. Need to flip a coin to make a decision? I have one handy!
What I like most about the coin is the word “peace” struck on the reverse under the eagle clutching and olive branch. First struck in 1921, the new dollar coin commemorated the end of the World War and expressed the hope and prayer that such a horrific, destructive, generation-destroying war might not happen again.
Veterans Day this year marks the 99th anniversary of the armistice which ended the First World War. Looking ahead to next year, we see that November 11th will fall on a Sunday in 2018. Sharon and I have already begun to make plans for worship and music on 11/11/2018.
Why mention a Sunday more than a year away? Two reasons: First, I would like to put together a little historical display on that Sunday in 2018. Many of your have shared stories with me of your parents or grandparents who served in WWI. It would be wonderful to fill a room here at the church with photographs, artifacts, and memories (even if you are recalling a grandfather than you knew much later in his life). It takes time to gather such things, please be on the look out for them in the year ahead.
Second, as we go through the coming year, I strongly believe that the commitment to peace reflected on the back of that old silver dollar must be no less important now than it was then. Of course, our commitment to peace is shaped by far more than old coins. We should hear and live into the words of the prophet Micah:
“He shall judge between many peoples, and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Micah 4:3)