Twelve years ago I was in theology class. During our break, I went to visit my friend who worked at the front desk. She said something about an attack on the World Trade Center Tower and I thought that it was probably a hoax. Some kind of email forward joke. When class resumed, a classmate mentioned that something big was going down. Our entire class had perplexed looks. The professor said something to the effect of, “Theology does us no good if we keep it from speaking to situations like this. Go home, talk to your loved ones, and pray.” We immediately all went back to our apartments and flipped on the TV.
I don’t have to write a piece rehashing my thoughts and feelings about that day. That’s just going to add to the millions of other people who have done the same thing. But I do want to say that people in this world look at following Jesus much like my initial reaction to the Twin Towers attack. People see God as a big hoax or, even worse, a joke. It’s only when our love continues to pour out when others assume it will dry up do they think twice about Jesus.
Now we’ve got this situation in Syria that has millions of nuanced ties to what happened on 9/11. The things that happened on 9/11 had millions of things that led up to that fateful day, too. In another 12 years, a different situation will present itself–only it won’t really be that different. The same lust for revenge and violence will exist.
The Kingdom of God that Jesus planted eventually took over civilization. Christ followers frequently get it wrong–severely wrong–over the years, but the love of Jesus has changed this world for the better over time. We need resolve to keep this up. The promise Jesus gave us is that all of this will one day be made right. Until that day, He extends an invitation to each of us to be an ambassador of peace.
Your duty as an ambassador begins in your heart. Are you at war with yourself? Lay down your life and ask for forgiveness.
Are you at war with a family member or friend? Lay down your life and ask for forgiveness.
Are you in a community thinking about war with another community? Lay down your life and ask for forgiveness.
Jesus provides THE answer for how to change the world. Love is this ultimate answer. That doesn’t mean it’s always obvious and practical in how it gets applied. Honestly, I’m baffled for how to speak into this Syria thing. I’m not an expert in international politics and I’ve had opinions all over the page in the past 12 years regarding this stuff.
I do know that Jesus calls us to be peacemakers and to put down the sword. I also know that Scripture talks about the need for the sword to protect the innocent. I’m pretty sure only God knows how the two fit together.
Pray for peace. Be actively talking and searching for how to make it a reality. Maybe a bunch of Christ followers without happy trigger fingers might just make a difference in this world again.