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    Two opinions

    “How long will you hover between two opinions?”
    Elijah the prophet asked his contemporaries this question.
    The two opinions were Baal and God.

    Elijah would ask our age the same question:
    “How long will you hover between two opinions?”
    But the two opinions are not as in Elijah’s day.

    One is Micah:
    “Let every man sit under his vine or fig tree
    And none shall make them afraid.”

    It is also the Psalmist:
    “Be not afraid of terror by night,
    Or the arrow that flies by day –
    Of the plague that stalks in the darkness,
    Or the scourge that ravages at noon.”

    The other opinion is not Biblical. It never could be.
    It is the whitewashing of the menace that none can escape,
    The terror that lurks and springs all of a sudden
    And in a moment consumes lives, smiles, hopes, dreams and humanity.

    Elijah overcame the false prophets of Baal.
    Democracy, dignity and decency will overcome in our age.
    But only in a world which refuses to dance with death:

    A world which insists
    “Let children run, jump and play.
    Let youngsters dance, sing and fall in love.
    Let adults walk, talk, work, even pray –
    With none to make them afraid.”

    “All are entitled to a place in the sun.”
    “None are entitled to end the day alive…”
    The two opinions cannot both be right.

    In memory of the victims of terrorism in so many parts of Israel…
    Of the victims of Bali, New York and so many other parts of the globe
    The world must decide that we all have a right to end each day alive.

    In appreciation of the heroes whose compassion brings support
    Wherever the voice of suffering is heard…
    The world must decide that terror must not prevail,
    That human distances must be narrowed,
    And differences recognised and addressed with humanity.

    Elijah went off to meditate
    In a place where the only sound was thin silence.
    In the silent places of the human heart
    May good people ponder, and decide that life must be safe.

    O God, hear their prayer. Support their hands.
    Help them to know the world is big enough for everybody.
    Help them to see in each other the face of a friend.
    Help them to look ahead confidently and say,
    “Let the past die with its curses; let the future begin with its blessings.”

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