As I write the situation in Kabul is still unfolding. A dozen US service members, some of whom might not have even been born when the war began, and around one hundred civilians were killed in a pair of suicide bomb attacks just a few days ago. The latest casualties in a two-decade war. Everyone on TV and in the news is trying to cast blame, to arm-chair-general the situation, to find a bad guy.
We forget something.
War is bad. Killing is bad. No matter who. No matter when. No matter how.
(I acknowledge that there are times when it might be the least evil outcome, but that never makes it the right thing to do.)
We need to remember that Jesus loved the suicide bombers as much as he loved those they killed. Jesus loves us no matter what. Us means humanity, all of us. The Bible teaches us that sin separates us from God. There are no matters of degree, as much as we might want there to be. Consequences, yes, but sin is a binary condition, it is there or it is not. All have fallen short of the glory of God. We need to be reminded that the blood of Christ, the love of Christ, covers all. As sin is binary so is forgiveness. It is granted or it is not. The Gospel tells us that all have sin and all are forgiven already, they simply have to ask to experience it.
We are to be a people of peace. We are to be peace, make peace, eat and breath and radiate peace.
Pride is a barrier to peace. Vengeance is a barrier to peace.
Humility, forgiveness, compassion, empathy. These are the tools that build peace.
We as Christians must work to become the peacemakers Christ calls us to be.
- Pray for peace.
- Reject the rhetoric of blame, vengeance, and guilt.
- Work to view those labeled as “enemy” as human.
- Use the language of compassion.
- Do not support those who choose violence.
- Exam your life to see how you can better make peace.
- Pray for peace.