I have to be honest this morning – I’m deeply worried about our world. I’m not talking financially – although I do understand that dollars, cents, pounds and euros are always part of the equation – so much as socially. This world is deeply troubled, and I’m concerned at a level I never have been before.
It’s the rioting in London that has me a little over the edge. London? Seriously? This is the place where people made tea during Nazi air raids. This is the country where major sporting events have a pause, mid-contest, for afternoon tea. This is the nation where good manners are, well, everything.
But of course the world has changed. I know that; we all know that. I may have been raised in a culture defined by civility, but today we live on a planet that has become both the beneficiary… and the victim… of globalization.
Along with the globalization of economics, we now have the globalization of unrest.
The world could learn a thing or two from Vacation Bible School
I think we have forgotten that civilization hangs on a thread. And that most tender of threads is the buy-in people have to certain foundational ideas. I’m talking about things such as:
Respect for others
Yes, I know, it sounds like an elementary school report card. But the big, huge, gargantuan problems that dominate the world news are never going to be satisfactorily addressed until we get a handle on teaching these primary values to each generation, one at a time, as they are nurtured in families around the globe.
I’m tired of hearing vitriol pour put of the mouths of fundamentalists over bedroom issues when what this world needs is a systemic infusion of justice and mercy:
“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
London - the way it should appear!
I’d like to draw our attention to the words of Jesus, who knew exactly where there world was/is broken, and who always puts his finger on the solution. There’s some paraphrasing, but you’ll easily recognize excerpts from the first few verses of Matthew 5 – the Sermon on the Mount:
Jesus took one look at the crowds, then he climbed onto the hillside and sat down. His friends gathered around and he knew exactly what to say:
“My blessing is for the poor in spirit; in fact, the kingdom of heaven is theirs. You see, my kingdom is a place of comfort for those who mourn. This world will not respond well to intimidation, but – rather – it’s going to belong to the meek. My blessing is that people who have a real passion for righteousness, which is another way of saying justice, are going to find satisfaction. Mercy given is the avenue to mercy received, and it’s those people with pure hearts who are the ones more able to see God. A lot of folk like to claim the title “Children of God”, but – if you want to know who really hold that designation – it’s the peacemakers. The kingdom of heaven belongs to those of my children who are persecuted because of their stand on justice. Bottom line, your job is simple – be the salt of the earth; be light to this world. Let your light shine in a way that makes a positive difference; then what you actually do will be all the evidence this world needs.”