The initial flurry of comments, as the 44th US President, Barack Obama, is nominated for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, seem to be mainly an incredulous “really? so soon?” Well that’s pretty good after 9 months in office.
However, I want to approach this less cynically than some. It maybe that ‘premature’ is one word that may be applied to the news; but ‘hopeful’ is perhaps a more appropriate one.
Not hope as in “I hope it won’t rain tomorrow”; but hope of something substantial, more eternal. This week, for the first time for a long time, Northern Ireland paramilitaries appeared with guns at a funeral. My children had not seen anything like it in living memory, though the Good Friday Agreement does not seem that long ago to me. How quickly we have become used to peace in Northern Ireland. Can we dare hope of that that sort of peace elsewhere amongst the world’s troubled spots too?
The Bible speaks of Hope as something of certainty, that we can depend upon. Perhaps the Nobel nomination committee have that sense of hope for the future of world peace, and Obama’s potential in furthering it. I hope so.