A Voice of Peace in an Age of Terror
It seems as if every day brings word of a new violent outbreak. A shooting in Munich leaves 9 dead while bombs at Istanbul’s largest airport kill another 45. Orlando is still grieving their 49 killed even while word breaks about 2 dead and more than a dozen injured in a shooting outside a club in Fort Meyer. And even though crime rates and the numbers of violent incidents are dropping throughout the US, the high-visibility of certain events drive fears to all-time highs. We fear the threat of invisible terror from abroad; we fear the power of corrupt politicians; we fear the shadows into which the world sometimes seems intent on driving us.
So much of the world’s language is drenched and coded in fear these days. In many ways, fear is what makes the world go ‘round. Political campaigns capitalize on people’s fear of certain people, certain religions, certain ideas, and certain “facts.” Radical Islamic terrorists thrive on the self-perpetuating cycles of fear, distrust, and violence. Fearful murmurings and violent words seem to cloud almost every conversation these days.
The church ought not to be so.
For if what Paul says is true, and we have not been given a “spirit of fear” but of “power and love and a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7) then our voices should stand in stark contrast to those governed by that fearful spirit God has taken from us. We are to be the voices of peace in this world. The voices of love, and power, and sound thinking. The voices of the Gospel, in other words. We stand in the midst of the world’s fear and proclaim that peace has come, that the world availed itself against Him, but that He has overcome the world so that we might know Him in his fullness.
So answer your neighbor’s worries with words of peace rather than of fear. Oppose injustice with peace and mercy, rather than violence and naked retribution. Reject those voices which would seek to draw you into cycles of fear and violence.
Choose peace, church. For Peace has already chosen you.