Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Should We Fight?

“…Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!” Luke 22:49b

The companions of Jesus suddenly felt overtaken and threatened by a volatile group of people. Their survival and future seemed to be at stake. When fear raised its head the first thing which came to their minds was that they should fight. I am impressed they at least asked Jesus the question. They had a few weapons on hand to protect themselves and began using them. However, Jesus ministered healing in the midst of real threatening danger. He just kept on doing good. Fighting was not an option for Jesus. He didn’t take a combative approach, nor was He an alarmist. I find Him such an excellent model to follow.

Whenever a horrible carnage happens like the ones in Paris and San Bernardino, California, a typical pattern of reaction occurs in me. There is anger, shock, grief, and a desire to stay away from the Muslims I know. There are a multiple of emotions flying all over the place in me...and questions. It is not that I feel the need of more information about Islam, the Qur'an, Muslims, or culture, but rather what to do with my own feelings and thoughts? How, as a follower of Jesus, should I respond? I ask Jesus questions, too. Will fighting back reduce or eliminate real threats and danger? If we ignore or avoid Muslims will real or perceived dangers go away? Is there any other option than fighting? What can we personally do about threats and danger?  Usually at Christmas time we are reminded as Christians to not let commercialization overtake remembering the coming of Jesus Christ as the Prince of Peace. Well, the problem may not be so much commercialization but the fear of terrorism. That fear can over take us big time.

Well, I know it sounds simplistic but we could minister and continue to do good like Jesus did in the midst of real or perceived threat and danger. Jesus healed the slave’s gaping hole where his ear had been slashed off. Amazing! Imagine the look on His disciples’ faces. While they wanted to use protective weapons He used love and goodness. His Kingdom is a different kind of kingdom. The Kingdom of God will never go extinct or be overtaken by anyone or any ideology – no matter how great the threat or danger. What would doing good like Jesus did in the midst of real or perceived threat and danger look like today for us? For me, I have resolved to keep on helping, loving, praying, welcoming, hugging, inviting, visiting, baking cookies and cakes, and sharing the love of Jesus with Muslims - and if absolutely necessary report anything suspicious, as I have had to do on occasion.

Dear heavenly Father, please spread Your goodness and love through me to my Muslim friends this Christmas season.  In Jesus' name, Amen.