By Not Known
ADVENT, the Season of LOVE, JOY and PEACE, is almost here (Sunday, 27 November). The world needs it. Christians need it. Businesses need it. There is no one on earth who does not and would not need love, joy and peace. Here’s why.
On Sunday, 13 November, when four small children were playing outside a city church in Samarinda, Indonesian’s East Kalimantan province, a man rode by with his motorbike and threw home-made petrol bombs into the compound. One toddler died, while the other three suffered less serious injuries. That day, a Christian community is potentially incited to HATE, to RAGE, and to WRESTLE with God’s justice and judgement. Like the Prophet Habakkuk, many will be crying out, “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?” (Hab 1:13a) Will this be the Season of Advent or a season of avenge for them?
Over that same weekend, hundreds of Rohingyas were forced to flee their homes as Myanmar army launched attacks with helicopter gunships on villages in Rakhine State. These “clearance operations” targeting armed militants unfortunately left women and children among those killed on the streets. That weekend, another community was once again reminded of their plight as an outcast. HATRED, RAGE, and TURMOIL descend to another depth of entrenchment. For a community that knows Jesus at the very least as one of their prophets, will this Season be for them a season of avenge too?
These crises of people against people in a country and in a society are really mirrors of similar crises in our homes – husband against wife, parents against children, and sibling against sibling. Deep-seeded distrust, pride and prejudice become ingredients for a “Molotov cocktail” that destroys relationships. What we experience in our homes with all the pains and hurts is a parallel of what humanity is experiencing and suffering daily in every corner of the world with greater intensity and larger recuperations. Will this season be the Advent of LOVE, JOY, and PEACE, or the Avenge of HATRED, RAGE, RESTLESSNESS and TURMOIL?
The first Advent of Jesus Christ decisively overcame the ultimate war between God and Satan, and God has won! All who enter into a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ also rest from warring against God. Peace with God through Christ’s love and forgiveness precedes peace and mutual forgiveness between fellow humankind. World peace is not possible without peace with God (Rom 5:1-5). Let us keep proclaiming God’s love, joy and peace in Christ so that the Season of Advent will outshine a season of avenge in our world.