With Christmas imminent in everyone’s thoughts right now, some reflective escapism allowed, it’s ironic that peace and goodwill is not the theme of the future’s present. Too many geopolitical ructions of recent months to ignore.
A terrifying time is coming; if that hasn’t already been the global reality for some time.
More than ever, the ages-old gospel remedy of “love your enemy, pray for those who persecute you” has relevance, but it seems many people of the faith would prefer to fight. Or at least their standing for principles causes them to engage in anything other than true pacifism.
Recently I was inspired to watch Mel Gibson’s depiction of Desmond T. Doss’s World War II heroism, Hacksaw Ridge (2016). It reminded me of the power of non-resistance against violence, and especially of the God-transformation that occurred in KKK leader, Johnny Lee Clary (1959—2014) through his interactions with the Reverend Wade Watts, who met the racist KKK leader’s violence with love, and won his heart for the Lord. Well, of course, there’s the legendary Reverend Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, too. There are very many examples of people who were prepared to lose to ultimately win.
And that’s our personal mandate, however it rankles us. There are times when we must be prepared to lose to win. Responding with non-violence when we’ve been violated runs against our humanity, so we cannot respond with non-resistance or non-violent resistance without God’s inspiration and power. God’s inspiration will give us innovative responses that neither they nor we could have previously imagined or engineered. God’s power gives us what we need to carry out what would otherwise seem absurd. And godly responses always seem absurd at the time, but truth’s wisdom rises later in the day.
There are times when we can only hope to ultimately win by choosing a path of love that means we must lose the battle here and now.
The war fought on the grounds of love is a series of battles we must be determined to lose, for enemies can only be conquered by love.
These lessons are eternal, and we’ve never needed eternity’s wisdom more than for such a time as this in world history.
Christmas teaches us that war fought on the ground of love is a series of battles we must be prepared to lose to win.
Christmas reminds us that God came to earth, weak and vulnerable; that the world’s concept of power was never going to overthrow evil.