I fear for the state of affairs that currently exist in our nation. We live in a time where we have “politicians” running for office that regularly spew messages of hate and divisiveness toward their opponents. We have the continuing saga of politics in Illinois, where neither side of the aisle can seem to put their own personal agendas aside for the betterment of the citizens of Illinois. We have the now all-to-regular mass shootings. We have the growing tensions between our police forces and African Americans. And no matter what side of any of these issues you stand, what are you trying to accomplish?
As I was reflecting on the recent events, Abraham Lincoln’s “A House Divided” speech came to mind. His speech was with regards to slavery and whether or not the country could survive if half of the states were free states and the other half was slave states. We all know how the history with regards to that turned out. But here we are over 150 years later, and have things changed very much?
In Mark, and also in Matthew 12, Jesus makes the statement that a house divided cannot stand in response to religious leaders of his time calling him out as being possessed by an evil spirit and accusing him of casting out evil spirits in the name of Satan. Jesus’ response is that Satan would not continue to exist if he drove out his own evil spirits. A house divided against itself cannot stand. So what are we to do?
In Matthew 5, in his sermon on the mount, Jesus gives instructions on how to carry your lives, and we have some familiar verses to us all. In the passage included here, we have the “turn the other cheek” and “love your enemy.” In John 13:34, we have “Love one another as I have loved you.” We should not be trying to end violence in this world by bringing more violence. We instead need to come together as a nation, and to see both sides of the situation, and love one another. Only then can we start to heal.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.
Hate multiplies hate,
violence multiplies violence,
and toughness multiplies toughness
in a descending spiral of destruction….
The chain reaction of evil —
hate begetting hate,
wars producing more wars —
must be broken,
or we shall be plunged
into the dark abyss of annihilation. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.