Love Is Stronger Than Hate
This past weekend my wife and I spent some time in New York City with a friend who was having surgery there. We also took the time to experience some of the sights of the city.
One of the most meaningful things that we did was to visit the National 9/11 Museum and Memorial on the site of the World Trade Center, which was destroyed in an evil terrorist attack seventeen years ago.
It's hard to fathom the kind of hatred and twisted religious fundamentalism that would cause such death and destruction. As a people, we lost a lot on that day. We lost our innocence, our naive view of the wider world, our overall sense of safety...
I felt old resentments well up inside of me, and hard words began to form on my lips. And then Merideth said to me, "We have to be better. We have to come from a place of love. We need to speak that into the world."
About that time we rounded the corner and saw a display in the gift shop of a t-shirt emblazoned with the words, "Love Is Stronger Than Hate." I actually had to resist the urge in that moment to kneel down in front of the display (which seemed more like an altar to me) and repent of my anger and bitterness.
When Jesus was asked by his disciples who was the greatest "in the Kingdom of the heavens," he called forward and stood a little child in their midst and then told them,
"Amen, I tell you, unless you turn back and become as children, you most certainly may not enter into the Kingdom of the heavens."
There have been lots of interpretations of that passage, but I tend to believe that Jesus was calling on his followers to let go of their jaded views of the world, and their reliance on themselves.
He was calling on them to innocently, naively and wholeheartedly embrace the joy of childish trust, faith... and love.
Because love is truly stronger than hate.... faith is a gift from God that will carry us through even the darkest moments.... and trust is a form of surrender that gives us the freedom to be the people God dreams for us to be.
So become like a child today, and let all your words and deeds come from a place of faith, trust and love. Speak and live those virtues into the world--an action that brings heaven to earth, right here, right now.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.