WFT- irenic

17 October 2009

On September 8th the Merriam Webster Word of the Day was irenic.

favoring, conducive to, or operating towards peace, moderation, or conciliation

In typical Word of the Day fashion, M-W provided this etymology:

In Greek mythology, Eirene was one of the Horae, the goddesses of the seasons and natural order; in the Iliad the Horae are the custodians of the gates of Olympus. According to Hesiod, the Horae were the daughters of Zeus and a Titaness named Themis, and their names indicate their function and relation to human life. Eirene was the goddess of peace. Her name is also the Greek word for "peace," and it gave rise to "irenic" and other peaceable terms including "irenics" (a theological term for advocacy of Christian unity), "Irena" (the genus name of two species of birds found in southern Asia and the Philippines), and the name "Irene." [emphasis added]

Being interested in words (surprise!), I looked up the first time eirene was used in the Apostolic Writings and found these words of the Master from Matthew 10.

Matthew 10:13

"If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace.

This is part of the instruction that Yeshua gives to his disciples as He sends them out.  The conditional "if the house is worthy" should cause us to ask the question "what makes the house worthy?"  The answer is found in the next verse:

Matthew 10:14

"Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. [emphasis added]

My favorite irenic  passage is found in Romans 5.

Romans 5:1-2

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

I'd like to close this short post with another irenic quote from Romans:

Romans 15:33

Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

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