To all involved in inter-party talks,
We are at a fragile time on our journey towards political and societal peace. We are in a impasse and there seems little warmth in relationship. We need generosity and imagination in your current inter-party talks. Many of us are praying for that.
A few years ago the band REM sang the following:
“I can't say that I love Jesus
that would be a hollow claim.
He did make some observations
and I'm quoting them today.
"Judge not lest ye be judged."
what a beautiful refrain…”
You don’t have to believe in Jesus as God to pay attention to his wisdom. Whatever you think about Jesus, whoever you think he is, take a little time to read his words at the bottom of this blog. They might seem a little out of the box. Indeed they might seem a little bit insane. Yet, they might be a formula that could change our political landscape.
This crazy stuff about loving enemies is born out of the central gem of belief in Christianity; grace. Bono, a rock star who does love Jesus, has described grace as “a thought that can change the world”. Bono believes that grace interrupts how it is and can change things into how they can be. He uses the word to describe what happened in South Africa. I believe that this radical, reckless grace of God that loves enemies and makes peace across fractured communities is a revolutionary act in a world that needs something crazy and seemingly miraculous.
I leave the potential for peace in your hands. So as you continue these talks why not read these words of Jesus before entering every discussion…
LUKE 6: 27-31
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you…
Grace to all of you,