The Urgent Necessity
To forgive as we have been forgiven is to overcome evil with good.
(Read Luke 23:33-46)
In the city of Hebron on Israel's West Bank, there is a wall on which is written a poem commemorating the death of a child. The child was just sitting in her stroller, out with her mother on a lovely March day. The girl was murdered in the kind of tit-for-tat fighting that has claimed the lives of so many children on the streets of so many cities for so many years all across our world. A writer for the Washington Post called the inscription on that wall an "an elegy to [that child's] pinchable cheeks, her sweet smile, her kerchiefed cuteness—and to the urgent necessity of revenge." Linger on that phrase for a moment. The poem on the wall reads, "We will take revenge, we will scream for revenge in body and spirit and await the coming of the Messiah."
In every age, there come moments when people tire of waiting for a Messiah. They tire of waiting for someone to come and sort things out and set them right. They decide that they must exercise for themselves the vengeance that is evil's due. You understand that, don't you? You see the things that go on in this world, things like the slaughtering of a ten-month old child, the shooting of an unarmed teenager, the raping and trafficking of innocents, or the beheading or blowing up people who won't buy your faith. There is swindling of the elderly, growing fatter while children starve, hooking others on drugs, feathering your nest with public funds, pleasuring yourself with the video of somebody's daughter, betraying your spouse, abusing your children, and burying yourself in a world of trivia and entertainment while the wicked run rampant. This is evil, and it makes us mad.
We're mad a lot these days. An article in Esquire magazine titled "American ...
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Dan Meyer is pastor of Christ Church of Oak Brook in Oak Brook, Illinois.