I have been thinking about Remembrance Sunday quite a bit today and I have been thinking about how we often romanticise conflict, when in reality it is truly hellish, death, destruction, mourning, pain and misery.
The problem is we live in a world of cartoon heroes and computer games which reset and everyone gets up again and restarts.
We live in a sanitized world of hollywood violence, without mess, blood and post traumatic stress.
I think our generation has lost the idea of the horror of war and violence.
Even in real warfare often soldiers no longer see the whites of people’s eyes but rather blips on a computer screen, removed so much by modern technology from the consequences of our actions, but for the family suffering drone attacks it feels very very real.If we don’t see what we have done, it doesn’t seem or feel real, but that doesn’t make not so.
Often we think of many of our actions as victimless, and yet no sin is actually victimless as it all resulted in the crucifixion of the Holy One, Christ Jesus.
I worry in our world we often see violence as a first resort rather than the last option, when every other avenue is closed.
I think too that often we have violence within our hearts, often the way we speak to people or about them can cause great damage… We all know the phrase “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me” simply isn’t true… We can, and sadly do, cause massive amounts of violence with out tongues, our words, or our on-line conduct. Back stabbing and character assassination can be fatal for people without resorting to physical punches.
In a world that seems more full of hate, fear and violence than many of us can remember, we have the challenge to be bringers of peace, peace-makers, shoes fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace.
We serve the Prince of Peace that urged us to turn the other cheek, which is incredibly tough at times, to love our enemies and to do good to those who hate us.
Although on some occasions conflict is healthy, the question is are we engaging in this conflict from the right heart, what is our motivation?
If it is a love drama, bigging themselves up by running other people down, this is not the way of Christ…
Yet if truth and love are joined together we will want to see people set free and thrive, to see people flourish rather than flounder, grow and move on and become more Christ like.
I think how can we expect there to be peace between nations when we can’t be at peace with one another?
We all have a personal responsibility to be bringers of peace, bringers of reconciliation, people of healing and not an inflicter of pain or brokenness.
The way of Peace is often the braver choice, non retaliation takes immensely more courage than to lash out.
So, the challenge to lets be people of peace.
Let our gentle answers turn away wrath, defusing tensions, hostilities and conflict rather than ignite and inflame.
Lets bravely and courageously make the world a less violent, hostile and nasty place as we seek to see the Kingdom of Christ come on earth as it is in heaven.