Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Lenten Reflections: Violence

"But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest’s slave, slashing off his ear. “Put away your sword,” Jesus told him. “Those who use the sword will die by the sword."

Matthew 26:51 

These words of Christ are much more inclusive than they may appear. Swords don't have to be drawn. Fists not need be clenched in anger. Words can cut far deeper than any physical weapon. The verbal battles that we wage can often turn more violent than entire wars. And the wounds that are inflicted are far worse than amputated limbs, shrapnel scars or paralyzed bodies.

Violence is violence.

Physical. Emotional. Spiritual. 

The antithesis of God's Kingdom.

"Love your enemies", but only if they look like you, sound like you, smell like you, believe like you, and above all else, agree with you 100%. 

When we put conditions on love, we create something that's not really love at all. Love has no conditions. Love cuts through the differences. Love breaks down walls that divide. Love transforms.

As I've journeyed through Lent this year, I am remind that our words can do more damage than the sword. Let's encourage one another by our words, rather than tearing each other down. And let us remember that everyone is worthy of our love, even the most despised of enemies. In fact, they may need it more than our closest friend.

Lord, You were met with violence of deed as well as word. Help us to do away with all violence in our lives; whether physical, emotional or spiritual. Pacify our actions, words and hearts that we may live in peace with all. 

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen                

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