One of the most peaceful settings I encountered this year was right before Parkway’s Sunrise Service on Easter Sunday. Lafreniere Park was beautiful, the weather was gorgeous, and lots of our members and many who were just in the park that morning, came to give thanks to God for the resurrection of Jesus and what it means to all of us.
What do we do though, when we gather in the name of the Prince of Peace, and yet encounter stories in our news (or maybe in our lives) which make us feel anything but peaceful? What if instead of the above, we feel like this:
I don’t think the answer is to close our eyes and hum, “I’m so Happy.” As a matter of fact, after the crucifixion, the Bible tells us the world looked more like the second picture than the first. I suspect it was how God felt at the time. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t mean burying our heads in the sand and just thinking “positive thoughts.”
There is injustice in the world. There is evil in the world. I do believe this needs to be addressed. I do think Christians need to be involved and not wall ourselves off from the world. I don’t find pacifism or isolationism as the answer. Nevertheless, we need to address problems, to the best of our ability, as Jesus did (who didn’t run away from trouble). We need to remember that Christians are called to overcome evil, not with evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). We need to look for lost sheep who might be called back before it is too late. And one of overall principles we must keep is that our way, Jesus’ way, was to transform rather than destroy.
Yet, we are still imperfect (and live in an imperfect world). Sometimes we can’t transform. We have to decide what the right thing to do is on such occasions for the collective good.
But let us never just meld into the population and have our opinion non-distinct from the crowd. Let us never forget who we are. May we always be distinctive as followers of Jesus Christ. And let us remember the end, which has already been determined, is not here yet and God is still God.
Peace to you in months with troubling news (be it far or near),