The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them. – Isaiah 11:6
Rebekah and I are enjoying a serendipitous couple of days with our daughter Naomi, her husband Craig, and our wonderful grandchildren. It’s still a regular work week, but enormous fun to have them around.
Who can complain when breakfast on the deck is interrupted by a two-year-old and a four-year-old in pajamas?
For me, in the middle of a contentious – and, frankly, disturbing – national election cycle, interludes such as this help to keep everything in perspective. On the one hand I am reminded of what we are putting at risk when we allow ourselves to become polarized by factionalism to this extent; and on the other I am comforted by the conviction that – at the heart of this nation – we must understand what is truly important.
LOVE = POWER: So I have to underscore (my grandkids underscore) the critically important truth that love is the most powerful force on this planet.
It wasn’t hate that led Jesus to the cross, it was love; it wasn’t exclusion that brought hope to a broken world, it was grace; it isn’t punishment that brings us into the Kingdom, it is mercy.
Watching these children renews my conviction that we will never know peace and unity until we learn that bullying, hate, bigotry, exclusion, and fear only lead to deeper conflict, disillusion, mistrust, and greater fear.
PAX ROMANA: This coming weekend we will celebrate Palm Sunday. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a symbol of peace, surrounded by children waving palm branches, his heart wide open, inviting all into the Kingdom of God. Meanwhile, the Roman governor rode in the other side of the city, surrounded by armed soldiers charged with enforcing the brutal pax Romana, an oppressive machine designed to enrich the bloated plutocracy via fear, exclusion, and the projection of Roman power.
Today, two thousand years later, the only message that offers hope and promotes the American ideal of “One nation, under God… indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” is the message I read clearly when I worship God in a church full of people with open hearts; when I cast my ballot because I believe, not because I fear; and when I hold my grandchildren and look into a future where we remember that light always defeats darkness and love is the strongest power in the Universe….
A truth – and a future – not only worth voting for – but living into with every fiber of our being – DEREK