August 27th 2009

My Kingdom Is Not Of This World

“My kingdom is not of this world.
If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest.”
John 18:36 (NIV)

“War, huh, yeah – what is it good for? Absolutely nothing, say it again”. Lyrics sang by Edwin Starr and Bruce Springsteen, among many others.

This song came to mind today as I watched yet another armed conflict cause hundreds of dead and thousands of casualties. The world looks on helplessly as two nations determine to wipe each other from the face of the Earth.

Has war ever achieved its aim? What war hasn’t left the desire for revenge in the hearts of the defeated, waiting for the time for when it can be unleashed?

Now I know the world is complicated. As a Christian I believe in justice and protection for the weak and vulnerable. Sometimes that requires force in order to stop tyranny and abuse. However, deep down we all know that violence will never give a lasting solution.

At no point during his ministry on the Earth did Jesus call for a battalion of angels to arrange a world coup. Why? Because it would solve nothing. Instead, He chose sacrifice as the way forward. Through this he opened up salvation: to you, to me, and to the whole world.

I must admit that sacrifice is never the first action on my agenda for sorting things out. Yet, as Jesus showed, it is the only lasting option. Whether we are talking about rivalry between countries, neighbours or work colleagues, sacrifice is the only answer. Without it peace is unachievable.

Desire peace.
Work for peace.
Pray for peace.

Father, I confess that I do use hostility in order to solve difficulties in my life. But your kingdom is not of this world. Show me how to live life in your world, where peace is everlasting.

Study by Ian Woodley

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