16/08/2023 by Rev. Doug Walker 0 Comments
What will it take
As seen in the HEARTbeat and the Village Voice
“What Will it Take?”
There have been many defining moments in our nation’s history, too many to name and discuss here. But here are just a few: the invasion by the British, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the attack on September 11, 2001. All these events defined what it is to be an American.
When the British invaded our fledgling nation, men and women came from near and far to defend their way of life, their freedom, and to remove the tyranny and oppressive rule of a government across the ocean. Patriotism was the feeling of almost everyone, and it drove people together, not apart. Differences were put aside because we saw each other with the same cause.
“Uncle Sam wants You!” This was the phrase seen on many sidewalk sandwich boards outside of military recruiting stations during World War II. There were lines of men and women waiting to volunteer to fight against tyranny once again. People put away differences and stood side by side with people they may have disagreed with in the past to preserve our great nation and defeat evil forces.
On September 11, 2001, an act of aggression was committed by individuals who hate our way of life, our religious beliefs, among other things, who took control of four jet airliners, reduced two symbols in New York to rubble, flew into the Pentagon – the symbol of our military might, and attempted to fly into the White House in Washington. Once again, a stunned nation pulled together to fight against hate and evil to preserve our freedoms and our nation.
It seems the fastest way to have people put aside differences and band together is to have a tragedy in their lives. Families come together during the severe illness of a loved one, cities pull together after a natural disaster, and our country has responded together after many attacks on our sovereignty. So I ask, what will it take to heal our land?
It seems there is more hate in our country than there is love, respect, and friendship. Groups who see their “identity” being challenged get radicalized and lash out. Even our churches are splintering over the very thing that should unite us – God’s Holy Word! And who benefits from this division – once again evil forces.
I’ve heard it said it’s easier to hate than it is to love. Hate is self-centered, self-indulgent, self-edifying, self, self, self. Loving people despite differences takes effort, but God didn’t say it was easy! The second greatest commandment according to Jesus is, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If we hate our neighbors, what does that say about how we view ourselves? Just a thought!
One day there will be a new Heaven and a new earth, one without evil in it. Evil will be cast into the lake of fire forever. Until then we are commanded to love our neighbors in spite of our shortcomings, not theirs! If you have hatred in your heart toward someone, I ask you, do you hate yourself? If we love others like we love ourselves, then the converse is also true.
We need to ask God to remove ALL hate from our hearts. This is His wish for our lives. I wonder, what will it take?