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Jesus Has Shown Us The Way to Peace

March 29, 2023

Leadership Notes


During an exchange with his disciples, Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you.” The passage can be found in Matthew 26. The context and meaning have been analyzed for generations. Sometimes, the simplest understanding is the best. The human condition such as it is, these things will always be with us. Our fallen nature – sin – manifests itself in so many ways. The depth of wickedness is almost too much to keep up with.


Does that mean we don’t address poverty and inequality? Part of our mission in this broken world is to care for our families, our communities, and our world by meeting tangible needs. Christians do that. It is always a good thing.


Luke’s gospel tells the story of the tragic collapse of a tower in which eighteen people died. Jesus was asked who was to blame…what was the reason for the death and destruction? In his answer, Jesus basically said, you need to repent of your sin, because your life could end tragically, without warning. As one commentary puts it:


When we read of a tragedy in the headlines, we should resist the

temptation to assign guilt to the victims, as if they had received

God’s judgment. Rather, Jesus bids us look to the sin within us

and take the headline as a warning to repent. The sudden death of

someone should not be an occasion for blame but for self-

examination. Whether you’re from Galilee or Jerusalem, from Kansas or Kenya,

from the country or the city; whether you’re rich or poor, young or

old; whether you think of yourself as a sinner or a saint; and

whether or not you even want to think about spiritual things—the

fact is you are under God’s judgment unless you repent and have

faith in Jesus.


Some things are hard to understand. We live in a fallen world. Wicked things happen. People allow themselves to be gripped by evil.


In the midst of this, while not despairing of the world, James calls us to be pure and peaceable and gentle and open to reason and full of mercy and impartial and sincere. We are called to let the light of Christ shine in our little corner of God’s world. That’s how we answer the horribleness of this fallen world.


We saw evil dancing with delight in Nashville Monday morning. And it didn’t take long for the authoritarians to use it to score their political points. I know I should not be surprised by it, but I still am. The President couldn’t wait to march out shopworn talking points. A Republican senator called for the shooting to be investigated as a hate crime.


Moving in the opposite direction, Walter Kirn recently observed:


“Acquiescence to {group think} is uncool. Always has been,

always will be. Be cool. Humanity depends on it.”


Likewise, there’s this from Joanne Mason:


“Pro-tip: Decent people don’t view the latest horrifying crime as

an opportunity to score points against folks who vote for the

opposing political party. Tone down your glee a bit, you ghouls,

it’s grotesque.”


A Wayne State University professor recently posted on Facebook, “I think it is far more admirable to kill a racist, homophobic, or transphobic speaker than it is to shout them down.” Ghoulish.


An actress, on a national television talk show, quipped that pro-life supporters should be murdered. Their sycophantic studio audience cheered in approval. She later added that her comments were in jest to “make a point.” If the point was to show what a horrible person she was, then she’s right. As someone who dabbles in humor, I don’t see any context in which that could remotely be considered funny. Ghoulish, yes. Humorous? No.


Then there’s this…police have arrested a suspect in connection with the second vandalism of the same pro-life pregnancy center in New York in less than a year. More ghouls at work.


These are weird times. And I wonder, do we have the right national leadership to set the proper and appropriate moral tone?


While sin is crouching outside our door, ready to pounce, James has shown us the way to peace. We can control our actions and attitudes. Called and equipped by God, we contribute to the peace and purity of our little corner of God’s world.


Now, we all know we’re not going to change the world. But we are going to be the example of salt and light Jesus calls us to be. Then, when our Tower of Siloam falls, whenever and wherever it be, we will hear the promised words, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will make you faithful over much. Enter into the joy

of your master.”


And now, your Moment of Spurgeon:


“THE MARVEL OF HEAVEN AND EARTH, OF TIME AND ETERNITY,

IS THE ATONING DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST. THIS IS THE MYSTERY

THAT BRINGS MORE GLORY TO GOD THAN ALL CREATION.”


With Much Love and Affection,


Richard

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