Monday, March 7, 2016

Lenten Reflections: Escalation

"Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy.  What do you think?”  “He is worthy of death,” they answered. Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him."

                                                            Matthew 26:65-67

Escalation. Pride's evil and deceptive ways widen. With each choice that Pride makes, the tensions in our relationships escalate. With each move of Pride, the battle is fueled and the ante is raised. More troops are sent in. We launch more offensives. Relationships don't die; they are murdered. Sin stands guilty as a war criminal. GUILTY. 

Anger gives birth to accusation. 

Accusation gives birth to action.

Action gives birth to violence. 

Violence gives birth to death.

Another relationship causality in the war of selfishness, with Pride leading the way. 

We count the costs of the war. We see the destruction. And yet we choose each weapon with great care, hoping for victory. 

Pride - 1  Relationships - 0 

Lent reveals to us that things are often backwards in the Kingdom of God. Pride has no place at the table. War in our relationships is unthinkable. Escalation becomes pacifism. And death becomes life. By living our lives through Christ, we find less need to slaughter our relationships, and more desire to heal them. We disarm ourselves, dismantle our military and end violence of any kind. Through Christ, we cherish each relationship as something of great value, more valuable than the temporary possessions we accumulate for ourselves. We count the cost of war, and realize that it's not worth it. 

Anger gives birth to forgiveness. 

Forgiveness gives birth to unity.

Unity gives birth to community.

Community gives birth to life. 

Lord, we realize that one of the most tragic losses in the war of Pride is relationships. So often we sacrifice those closest to us in order to protect the self. Help us to lay down our weapons and seek peace. Help us to cherish each relationship we have as more valuable than anything we possess, even life itself. Amen.              

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