God at the conference table

Apr 19th, 2006 | By | Category: International

Five-Seven Live, RTE’s evening drivetime radio news programme was very exciting this evening, so in between the cupboard where the rice for our curry was kept and the refrigerator where there was chicken, I flicked the switch from radio to CD player.

The Chi-Lites, original recordings from 1969 to 1976; soulful sounds by which to make dinner. Singing along with the lyrics I remembered, (not a pleasant experience for anyone else in the room!), the guys and I got through “€œThere will never be any peace”. Then I thought about the lyrics,

€œThere will never be any peace
Until God is seated at the conference table
There will never be any peace
Until God is seated at the conference table (He’s at the conference table)

Men are runnin’ from land to land
Tryin’ to make things all right
Holding meeting after meeting
Constantly reaching
For what they maybe thinking is right

Everybody has a plan
Ain’t that just a man
People can’t you understand
We gotta tell ‘em

There will never be any peace
Until God is seated at the conference table (He’s at the conference table)
There will never be any peace
Until God is seated at the conference table (He’s at the conference table)

But when only the dark
Has come to night
Tell me whose to blame
And what’s his name

You can point your finger
But you gotta remember
What was done
Was done by a man
So we gotta tell ‘€˜em

There will never be any peace
Until God is seated at the conference table (He’s at the conference table)
There will never be any peace
Until God is seated at the conference table (He’s at the conference table)

Sounds great, I thought, but whose God?

The God of President George W. Bush of the United States or the God of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran? The God of the Israeli Defence Forces or the God of Hamas? The God of Irish Republicanism or the God of Ulster Loyalism? God who is on my side or God who is on your side?

Given the frailty of our human nature, given our very incomplete understanding of God, given our innate sinfulness and desire to have things our own way, maybe it is better that we acknowledge that God is beyond all of us and not to attempt to co-opt him to our cause.

Maybe we should leave God away from the conference table.

Leave Comment