by Tim McCoy and Jacqueline Solomon
It was just eight days ago in Nice, France, where nearly 100 women, men and children were brutally murdered. The week before, the world watched on Facebook as two young black men were shot by police officers in the U.S. for no apparent reason, unveiling the deep distrust and fear that exists between communities and contributing to the subsequent execution of police officers in Dallas. Violence repaid with violence. Bombs continue to go off in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and so many more places, killing and maiming more innocent people. Many places around the world are in political disarray. And that’s just a few of the things that are happening.
We are surrounded by violence, fear and hatred. Many of us are left feeling hollow and hopeless as we bounce from tragedy to angry reaction and back to tragedy. What are we to do? How can we respond? Where are the voices that tell us to love our enemies, do good to those who hate us and bless those who curse us? What is the Christian response to terror?
Tim McCoy, CBOQ’s Executive Minister shares his thoughts below:
Over the past week, I’ve sat wondering how we should respond to all the violent upheaval in the world as Christians in Canada today. Then it dawned on me. We are the representatives of the Prince of Peace. Christ blesses the peacemakers and labels us as “children of God” according to the great sermon in Matthew 5. Christ’s life was laid down to make peace between God and humankind, and when we share that message of peace with others, we are peacemakers.
But making peace here on earth requires more of us. We must act and not be silent because silence in the face of injustice is not peacemaking. We must step into action motivated by our obligation to continue to make peace. We must not step back from opportunity when we are tempted to be inhibited by fear and uncertainty. We must be proactive and not reactive, initiating conversations of peace between the unlikely before circumstances and tragedy require them. And we must pray for the wisdom that comes from Christ as we do what he has called us to do.
Often our pursuit of peace requires that we think on things that are just (Philippians 4:8). And thinking on things that are just requires us to speak against things that are unjust. By speaking the truth in love, we find we are motivated by the promotion of harmony that makes a practical difference in our daily lives. For “The effect of righteousness (justice) will be peace,” prophesied Isaiah (32:17). “Righteousness and peace will kiss,” wrote the psalmist (Ps. 85:10). “Sowing justice” will result in peace, said Hosea (10:12-14).
So let us continue what God is already doing through you; build bridges and deepen relationships. Act when opportunities are available to express the character of God. Speak against injustice by promoting harmony where you live. All this before the chaos advances and assumes control in your community.
Praying for and pursuing peace with you, Tim
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18