Think with Me – War and Peace: I Stand at the Door, Day 13

Think also with me abut the threats to all my family.  Never, O never, let yourself think that nuclear arms please me.  No type of war can bring my kingdom of peace.  Think with me about how much the world needs love, not hate; forgiveness not judgment; peace, not war.  Let no one deceive you with talk of a “just” war, a limited nuclear engagement, or military build-up.  I choose none of these to bring my kingdom.

Think bout my kingdom as a kingdom of peace, gained by self-sacrifice.  My chief instrument for bringing the kingdom is a cross.  The world will be little impressed by your pronouncements, your vast programs to raise awareness, or your pious talk of reform if it does not see sacrifice demonstrated in your daily life.  The numbed brings and jaded emotions of moderns are still capable of existential shock when they see one person take up the cross and bear it.

Do you recall the explosions caused by Gandhi?
Dietrick Bonhoeffer?
Martin Luther King?

They shouted peace, peace from the rooftops, not only in the words they spoke but in the sacrifice of their lives.

It matters very much to me how your nation treats the poor and the powerless. How you treat them is how you treat me.  In the final day you will be judged by your treatment of me in the person of these helpless ones. When you feed them, you feed me; when you clothe them, you clothe me; when you cry with them for justice, you are expressing my compassion.

– Ben Johnson, I Stand at the Door, CTS Press, 1986, 8-9.

This is what Isaiah, Amoz’s son, saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 

In the days to come
the mountain of the LORD’s house
will be the highest of the mountains.
It will be lifted above the hills;
peoples will stream to it. 
Many nations will go and say,
“Come, let’s go up
to the LORD’s mountain,
to the house of Jacob’s God

so that he may teach us his ways
and we may walk in God’s paths.”
Instruction will come from Zion;
the LORD’s
word from Jerusalem. 
God will judge between the nations,
and settle disputes
of mighty nations.
Then they will beat
their swords into iron plows
and their spears into pruning tools.
Nation will not take up sword
against nation;
they will no longer learn
how to make war.

ICome, house of Jacob,
let’s walk by the LORD’s light
.

Isaiah 2:1-5

Spend time thinking with God today.  As your thoughts turn to the kingdom’s of this world, pray for the wars and injustices that threaten the most vulnerable in our world.  Ask God to show you how you might serve the Kingdom of the Cross.

Holy God,
Allow me to see the world as you see it.
Help me to recognize it and all that fills it as your beloved.
Teach me the ways of your kingdom – 
cross-carrying
self-sacrifice
generosity
and show me how to serve you
faithfully.
Amen

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