In HOPE

  In HOPE 8.32 

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David Timms  

 


Prayer for Today

God of peace, lead me in the way of peace. Forgive my indifference to violence -- that which lies within me and that which others wage around me. Ignite within me a yearning for peace, between me and others, between my neighbors, between communities, and between nations. May my heart be broken by every act that demeans or destroys others -- those for whom Christ died. May the gospel of peace take root from my heart to all those around me. Amen.

Hope Happenings

On Thursday, October 16, Hope International University will host a Missions Fair for its campus-based students. Many mission organizations make themselves available to inform, inspire, and resource our students. Our hope and prayer is that through this experience, the Lord might ignite a greater vision within our students for what Christ is doing in the world and might want to do through them.

Hope International University
Fullerton  CA  92831

 

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."
-- Matthew 5:9 


Non-Violence

The gospel of peace has been compromised and often crushed in the world of violence. That gospel -- largely silenced in our society of self-absorption and our culture of conflict -- calls us to reconciliation not retaliation, to compassion not indifference, to forgiveness not vengeance, driven by love not fear.

We have grown so accustomed to violence that it barely shocks us. Nearly two hundred lives lost in a human stampede in India; the bodies of two young girls found in a freezer in Maryland; more bombs in Afghanistan and Iraq; drive-by shootings in Los Angeles; and human trafficking in Europe. We catch the headlines, accept it as inevitable in our fallen world, and return to our relatively safe cocoons.

Yet violence governs our own lives, too. Home after home is racked with violence and intimidation of a different kind. Slammed doors, hostile voices, physical contact, and ridicule (yes, ridicule is a form of violence) tear apart marriages and families.

And we recipients of the gospel of peace, see little problem.

To paraphrase Dorothy Day, "The Gospel asks us to take up our cross. With violence we lay the cross on others."

We marvel at military technology that targets and kills by remote control, rather than grieve the loss of life. We approve government spending to produce sophisticated weaponry that can obliterate villages and cities. We justify aggression as a necessary evil to protect ourselves, our families, and our possessions.

All the while, the gospel of peace withers.

In that definitive moment when Peter drew his sword to protect Jesus from the hostile crowd in Gethsemane, Jesus would not have it. If ever the disciples could justify violence, surely it was then as they braced themselves to defend the Son of God. But the Son of God rebukes Peter: "Put down your sword!" (John 18:11)

It's time for the sons of God to repeat such a rebuke to ourselves, to each other, and to a world spiraling towards destruction. May we begin with our own inner depths of violence and find ways to disarm our own hearts first.

The gospel of peace has never needed greater urgency or suffered greater neglect.

In HOPE --

David

 

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You can find back issues of "In HOPE" (2005-2008) at http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/.

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.