“Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the Riverto the ends of the earth.”
(Zechariah 9:9-10) 

My recent Quiet Times have taken me through the so-called “minor” prophets. There’s nothing minor about what they have to say. This week has been spent with Zechariah, including the familiar verse depicting the Messiah-King riding to Jerusalem on a colt. Most of us will be familiar with Zechariah’s prophecy and will probably associate the imagery with Palm Sunday and Jesus’ ‘Triumphal Entry’ to Jerusalem. The subsequent events of Easter may fill our minds. But my attention this time was caught more by the second part of the prophecy: the symbolic end to conflict (the warhorses taken away and the battle-bow broken) and the proclamation of peace.  

It came as an apt and timely image balancing the daily news feeds this week. Day after day we track the shifting front lines in Ukraine, the course of seasonal hurricanes, the downward spirals of currency and trade, the upward spirals of household costs, the perilous overloading of the NHS, the disintegration of education, the alarming rise in right-wing and extremist politics. As if the national and global contexts were not unsettling enough, many of us struggle with personal issues of failing health or financial pressure or fractured relationships. 

That quiet, gentle image of a humble yet powerful king riding into the midst of the war zone and breaking the weapons of war and announcing peace cross the war zone answers an ache in my soul. In a day of rampant narcissists, I see the coming of the lowly King – so different and so welcome. In the shadow of escalating violence, I see the coming of the peacemaker. And this king does not only ride into the global arena. He comes into the personal arena. For each one of us, this is the king who bring order to our chaos and peace to our strife. 

OK, so we’re a long way from Easter! But every day we can welcome this king into our lives. May we each know the gentle yet strong presence of the peacemaker in our own need and in our world.