What the world needs now
- Midland Daily News, December15, 2004
"What the world needs now is love, sweet love."
Sentimental as the words of that song sound, everyone wants to love and be loved by others. Love is at the heart of being human. Yet so many of us, including me, occasionally avoid love in order to satisfy desires for greed, advantage, revenge, or other things.
Even though Christmas is pre-eminently a Christian holy day (commemoration of Jesus' birth), it has taken on and become a secular holiday. Even our celebration of the secular holiday has its roots in its holy origin, however. And the essence of that origin is LOVE. Isn't it out of love that we give presents and share greetings of joy to each other, participate in the Sharing Tree, give to Salvation Army bell ringers, and help provide meals to the hungry, even if we aren't Christian?
Jesus spent his public ministry of three years engaging in the lives of the marginalized and the poor. He invited them to follow him, he ate with them, and he healed them of sickness of mind and body - all expressions of love. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God and the second is very much like the first: love your neighbor as yourself. (Luke 10: 25-27) How wonderful to have a season to recall and recommit to this message.
Unfortunately Christians don't always live up to the commandment of love. One way is by taking sides and causing division. Isn't it scandalous how divided Christianity is? Yet, even in the first century Paul had to chastise the Corinthians for doing this. He urged "that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose." (1 Cor 1:10)
Many people say that the
Christians have even fought wars
in the name of Christ. War is so antithetical to the message of peace and love
that Jesus taught. That underlies my opposition to the war in
When a decision creates an
irreversible situation, as going to war in
The first step begins with peacemaking. And that must begin now to offset the worldwide damage our war initiative has caused.
The next step the
A third step is normalizing
relations with the millions of Arabs and Muslims who are not terrorists.
Contrary to what Mr. Saia wrote, the Muslim world has not declared a holy war
on us nor was
Let's not demonize whole groups of people because of a few! Rather let love and peacemaking guide our personal and international behaviors and policies. Let us talk to each other in love and peace to heal this divided nation and world. What better time to do this than during the Christmas season right in our own communities.