Thursday, March 3, 2022

Can Love Stop War?

It worked. I persuaded myself that Love is a Superpower. Last month I preached a series on Love, and more than ever I believe that Love works miracles. Love breaks through hard hearts. Love gets attention when all else fails. Love builds unity and community. Often Love takes time to make a difference, but Love makes a lasting difference.  I witnessed the power of Love, reaching hearts of those who felt forgotten, those who felt overwhelmed, those who felt rejected. A Loving response confounds those who practice violence and hate. Yes, Love is the Superpower.

Jesus tells us to Love one another. He also tells us to Love our enemies. And that's where it gets tricky.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine may be a test of the power of Love. The Church is strong in Ukraine. Christians in Ukraine and around the world are praying for the Russian invasion to fail. I have been praying for the invading forces to be confounded, disoriented, ineffective. I'm praying for equipment failure and confusion in strategy. I'm praying for other Russian leaders to stand up to Vladimir Putin and refuse to carry out orders.

And what if the invading Russian soldiers encounter such powerful Love that they lay down their arms? Could that happen? I believe it can. I also believe it would be a miracle. It is so unlikely that--if I lived in Ukraine--I would probably be pulling out my guns. I would be gathering up my ammo. I would be planning to respond in Love, but ready to protect my family. 

How far can we push these utopian ideas of Jesus? Do they work in the real, 21st century world? It's one thing to practice Love in the boardroom. What about the battlefield? A Loving response in battle may be one of the highest risk moves in the world.

But then Love always involves risk and vulnerability, in the boardroom, the bedroom, and breakroom. I can only imagine the heart struggle of watching tanks roll through my town. For me this is all philosophical, religious theory. There are real live people right now, grappling with these life and death dilemmas. May God have mercy.