Crushed, beneath the tyrannical force of those sworn to keep it, Peace dies in the street without mercy or consideration of its gasps for help. Onlookers, powerless to intervene, are warned off and resort to recording, for the world, this abhorrence. A world, saturated with gratuitous and visual violence, is enraged … The agonised frustrations of a people consumed with the desire to be free from a slavery, not abolished in practice, and still suffered in sight of privilege and prejudice, are unleashed … The pattern is not new. It repeats the sad reflection on the state of this fragile human union.
‘… One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”
Fluttering with certain irony, the flag, before which this oath is made daily, must look down with shame on the way truth is denied, in the streets, within government, in the minds, hearts and souls of an entire country, of the wider world… The self-evident founding assertion that,
‘… all men are created equal …’
condemns every act perpetrated by all bigots and supremacists who use the Constitution for their own selfish ends, with no regard for those whom it was created to protect. With deepening dismay, we see injustice and hate overflow; protests are deflected and defeated by weak political resolve and there is no public figure brave enough to articulate and spearhead the national revolution required. This is a fuse which is getting shorter by the moment with political expediency and personal ambition about to blow nations apart. But, an older constitution exists. Though forgotten by many, it founded and formed much of western civilisation and law. Written in stone, revealed in flesh and blood, it takes love for God and for humanity seriously, to the point of self-sacrifice and self-denial. With all our technological progress and social media prowess this message is being lost, diluted and replaced by the unfiltered expressions of human emotion, untethered by restraint and concern for consequence and responsibility. Can we return to that simpler way of life ruled by the discipline of spirit where words are not used lightly or to wound; where minds are subject to the control of reflection and long-term hope? Where our neighbour is worthy of respect and care, whoever they are? Where we recognise, when observing failed humanity, that
‘... there but for the grace of God’?
For, it is by grace that we are saved, not of anything we are or can do. We all stand, equally condemned before the throne of God and no number of Bibles on our shelves or in our hands can give us immunity from the inevitable judgement. Presidents, Kings, Popes and Archbishops, World Leaders, Governments, Religions, Criminal & Terrorist organisations … every one of us … must bow before a bloodied and executed outcast who died as Prince of Peace and now reigns as King of Love. We must see ourselves for who we really are and recognise him for who he really is.
“Lord, in your mercy, hear my prayer. Turn me around, let me face you and learn humility. Fill me with your presence and make me clean. Take my thoughts, words and actions and make them yours. Take my memories and shame and forgive and redeem my past that I may live renewed in your present. Grow your Spirit’s fruit and gifts in me for the blessing of others, for peace – and your glory. In the Name of Jesus Christ, your Son and my Saviour. Amen”