The story of world is told through wars and battles. In national, international and religious history they form turning points and land marks.
Many only experience war through stories, films or games. Pain and suffering is softened in an impersonal context of excitement and adventure.
The reality is of blood, horror, injury and death. Older friends remember the Second World War. Others have had friends or family in the armed forces in Iraq or Afghanistan.
We fight many other battles.
In physical and mental health… We continue to ‘fight against the coronavirus’. Friends fight cancer, arthritis, depression, addiction, dementia…
Fighting for a good cause isn’t always so straight forward.
Fighting against prejudice and injustice has led to fighting with the police. Fighting for the custody of children through the courts may involve children and families caught in the crossfire and left wounded.
Conflict or Co-operation
The language and attitudes of battles and war spill elsewhere…
In politics confrontation and fighting for victory can replace debate and collaboration.
In sport taking sides and violent conflict can replace friendly competitive rivalry.
In churches people, apparently on the same side, confront, oppose and fight against those who are ‘wrong’.
Co-operation and collaboration give way to conflict, and inevitable casualties.
The way of love and peace
St Paul, facing church conflict describes the ‘most excellent way’ of love:
‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.’
Jesus’ way of life of love and peace includes but is bigger than just killing and war.
….I shall muse more on this tomorrow….