Dear Sabbath Seekers,
The violence continues in our world. Whether it is Boston, Aurora, Tuscon, Newtown, Baghdad, New Delhi, New York City, or any small town or large country in the world, the violence continues. Behind the violence is everything from anger to fear to mental illness to vengeance to religious beliefs, to economics, to the need for power…and probably many more human frailties we cannot quite understand or accept as reasons to kill innocent people. If the violence comes because of a war, we label the innocents as collateral damage. If the violence seems like a random act, we label the perpetrators and we put more and more restrictions in place. Faced with such irrational behavior it is our attempt to control it and keep the general public safe. And this is not a criticism of new safety procedures. It is simply an observation. We live in a violent world.
Of course, it isn’t the world that is violent but the people who inhabit it. I read once that in all of recorded history there has been only a total of 3 minutes when there wasn’t a war somewhere on earth. We are a violent species.
So what does this have to do with Sabbath Moments, you ask? It’s the individual aspect of violence and our response to it that draws me to Sabbath Moments. For every act of violence and every horrible war ever fought there have been incredibly brave, compassionate people who have stepped in and stepped up to respond with love and kindness. Somewhere inside these people is a sense of peace that moves them forward.
Where does this inner peace come from? It comes from a sense of connection to something or someone bigger than themselves and bigger than any act of violence.
I read angry Facebook posts every day. I listen to angry on air personalities or politicians broadcast fear and lies to an already scared population and I wonder where is their peace? Do they have any inner peace? What is it that keeps them from offering love rather than hate?
Spending daily time with God and letting God’s peace infuse our minds and hearts certainly is an antidote to all the anti-peace surrounding us. It is our inner peace that will flow outward even in the midst of violence. Jesus was clear that those who live by the sword will die by the sword, that we will reap what we sow, and that the peace the world offers is no match for the peace that he offers.
It has been hard this week but I have stepped up my reading of those verses that talk about God’s love for all the world, that remind me that vengeance is God’s, and that if I want the peace that passes all understanding I have to keep my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. Spending time with the God of love in Sabbath Moments is a way to inner peace.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Jesus said, “For a brief time still, the light is among you. Walk by the light you have so darkness doesn’t destroy you. If you walk in darkness, you don’t know where you’re going. As you have the light, believe in the light. Then the light will be within you, and shining through your lives. You’ll be children of light.” John 12.35-36 The Message
May you have peace this week, my friends, may you find peace.