September 28, 2005

Destruction, and its defeat

Over and over again the world has watched seemingly senseless killing out of Iraq. It has happened again. In the midst of the complex questions associated with our presence in Iraq, one is confronted with a weightiness. No matter where you point the finger, the killing of individuals such as those in this recent event can ultimately be attributed to only one thing--evil. Even if you do not know where to point the finger (because that probably is not the issue at this point), you can still have a cry in your heart for something other than convoluted events without any resolution only leading to more killing.

The cry is really for peace--the vision of the lion and the lamb lying down together. Sure that's what we want, but is it possible--I mean, really possible? I'm reminded of U2's Peace on Earth:

Heaven on Earth
We need it now
I'm sick of all of this
Hanging around

Sick of sorrow
I'm sick of the pain
I'm sick of hearing
Again and again
That there's gonna be
Peace on Earth

While Bono does a great job of pulling on your heart, some of his lyrics, in particular one line, come off seeming blasphemous if not at least expressions of a heart giving over to despair in a weak moment.

Pastor Mark D. Roberts recently went through a series about true peace in which he explores this theme. Throughout the series Pastor Roberts does an incredible job of balancing all areas of potential peace in light of Jesus Christ. At one point he says:
When we look for peace, we must keep before us the concept we find throughout Scripture. True peace will always include right-relationships, just treatment of all persons, wholeness in all dimensions of life, and divine blessing to boot. Sometimes the path to true peace must pass through strife and division before it arrives at its destination.

Going back to U2, Bono expresses how it seems the whole of creation groans for redemption in one simple line in Yahweh, "Always pain before a child is born." As we experience pain as if going through birth, let us groan and cry out with all of creation for God's complete redemption and restoration to true peace.



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Destruction, and its defeat