True evangelical faith is of such a nature it cannot lie dormant, but spreads itself out in all kinds of righteousness and fruits of love.
The regenerated do not go to war, nor engage in strife. They are children of peace who have beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning forks, and know no war.
True evangelical faith, cannot lie dormant, it clothes the naked, it feeds the hungry, it comforts the sorrowful, it shelters the destitute, it serves those that harm it, it binds up that which is wounded, it has become all things to all creatures.
We who were formerly no people at all, and who knew of no peace, are now called to be...a church...of peace. True Christians do not know vengeance. They are the children of peace. Their hearts overflow with peace. Their mouths speak peace, and they walk in the way of peace.
Christians get very angry toward other Christians who sin differently than they do.
We tend to think, 'Life should be fair because God is fair.' But God is not life. And if I confuse God with the physical reality of life - by expecting constant good health for example- then I set myself up for crashing disappointment.
The presence of another caring person doubles the amount of pain a person can endure.
Whatever else it is, the kingdom of God is decidedly not a call to violent revolution.
(I love this story. My husband Laur and I once rescued an old goldfish we called “One Eyed Jack.”)
Lacey Scott was at her local pet store when a sad fish at the bottom of the tank caught her eye. His scales had turned black and lesions had formed on his body. Lacey rescued the ten-year-old fish, named him “Monstro” after the whale in the fairytale Pinocchio, and placed him in a “hospital” tank, changing his water daily. Slowly, Monstro improved, began to swim, and grew in size. His black scales transformed to gold. Through Lacey’s committed care, Monstro was made new!
What Lacey did for a dying goldfish, we can do for people in need around us. Homeless, unemployed, disabled, and lonely “neighbors” lie in our path. Let us allow their sadness to catch our eyes and draw us to respond with neighborly care. A kind greeting. A shared meal. A few dollars donated. An offer to do an errand. How might God use us to offer His love to others, a love which can make all things new?
Love your neighbor as yourself. - Luke 10:27
To survive as a human being is possible only through love. And, when Thanatos (death, evil) is ascendant, the instinct must be to reach out to those we love, to see in them all the divinity, pity, and pathos (suffering) of the human. And to recognize love in the lives of others - even those with whom we are in conflict - love that is like our own.
It does not mean we will avoid war or death. It does not mean that we as distinct individuals will survive. But love, in its mystery, has its own power. It alone gives us meaning that endures. It alone allows us to embrace and cherish life. Love as power both to resist in our nature what we know we must resist, and to affirm what we know we must affirm. And love, as the poets remind us, is eternal.