Tuesday, April 08, 2008

the peace question

the peace question

"How do we justify working for peace using the Bible to those who justify the opposite using the same book?" asks an Orthodox Christian woman.

Christ says: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God" In other words, like working to eradicate poverty, it is more about doing the work as individuals as response to God's love - the outcome needs to be left to God: "with men many things are impossible, but with God all things are possible."

God will not judge us according to that which is outside our control, only that which is.

In one place Christ says, "The poor you will have with you always" and in another He challenges us to tend to the poor as though He was among them "Whatever you have done to the least of these, you have done to me"

In Orthodoxy, we do not see contradiction, rather we see opportunity.
As long as there are poor, we can practice compassion, generosity and other spiritual skills.
As long as there is conflict, we can practice inner peace and peace-making, repentance and prayer.
Because of the persistence of these things in this world, we can practice mercy and humility, accepting God is greater than all of this and that eternity is longer than all of this. In Orthodoxy, we trust in the greatness of that and allow for the mysteries to persist as to eventual resolution

Lord, have mercy on us all.
your servant,
Fr John Brian
Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Parish

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