Friday, May 6, 2016

The Teachings of Jesus No. 7

“Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called the children of God.”

Let’s be honest. We do not live in a society or a world that values peace. Let’s admit this, too. War is a profitable business; obscenely profitable. And those in the business of supplying the machinery, the equipment, the ammunition, the apparel, the gadgets, and all the other accessories of war are not in the least bit interested in peace. Now, some of them may think they are keeping peace by providing their weapons of death, but bombs and bullets and other armaments are not about making peace. They are simply threats to ward off the enemy. Politicians who support the war enterprise are complicit in this madness, this making money off the deaths of others. Because that is what war is. Ministers, too, who push war, who wear a macho sneer and wave the flag and call themselves patriots for Christ, they have blood on their hands as well. We need to choose better leaders. There is a Calvin cartoon where Calvin asks Hobbes, “How come we play war and not peace?” And Hobbes says, “Too few role models.” Exactly. We need to choose politicians and ministers and other leaders who model the characteristics of making peace: intellect, integrity, conscience, honor, trustworthiness, courage, humility, and honesty. Peace keeping is not enough anymore. The world is wobbling off its axis and spinning into a near uninhabitable planet of violence and hatred. We need peace makers. This is not a passive, namby-pamby mindset that cowers at the thought of conflict. No, peacemaking is a courageous, active movement toward engagement and problem solving. It is working to resolve conflict not run from it or hide behind weapons of annihilation. We need leaders who will show us how to coexist with other nations including enemy nations; how to be united peacefully in a world of diverse people, ideas, cultures, needs and wants. “Peace comes from within,” said Buddha. You can’t make peace if you don’t have some sense of that. Fear, hate, prejudice, ignorance, these are the propellants of war. We need leaders who clearly understand this. Gandhi said, “The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.” Jesus couldn’t have said it better himself.

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