Peace on Earth?

True Christians have been called out of this world which is steeped in the tradition of Cain. That calling out is not, of course, meant to be physical, but to be in heart, mind and spirit. As the spirit of Christ lives in them, Christians are to depart from the self-centred philosophy of caring for themselves only.

Jesus Christ lived and taught a way of life different from the natural way of mankind. It is God’s way, based on the sure foundation of love. It’s a different way of thinking, a different approach to life. It’s a philosophy of life in stark contrast to what we read of the way of Cain: “Do not be like Cain, who was of that wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous”.

Following in the footsteps of Cain to this day, brother rises against brother to exploit and to abuse. Today, as throughout history, the blood of the innocent cries out to a listening and caring God in heaven. Cain ridiculed the idea of being his brother’s keeper, but Jesus has called his disciples to reverse Cain’s destructive course as his spirit guides them to become their brothers’ keepers, indeed peacemakers who love their neighbours as themselves.

The parable of the good Samaritan depicts a way of life emanating from the heart of flesh that Jesus offers in exchange for our hearts of stone. This Samaritan did not see the world as his enemy. He saw it as composed of brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, grandfathers and grandmothers, of people in need. Like the good Samaritan, true followers of Jesus Christ see themselves as their brothers’ keepers. Christians are to go to the world, to share the great truths of Jesus Christ in word and deed, not selfishly holding the mystery of the faith to themselves.

Jesus certainly saw himself as his brother’s keeper. He gave his life for his brothers and sisters. In the parable of the kingdom in Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus describes this theme as central to the judgment day, as the criterion to determine who will or will not be in his kingdom. Verses 44 and 45 tell the story well: “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you? He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me’”.

“Peace on earth, good will toward men”. All real Christians are devoting their lives to this hope, this calling in Christ now, even as they look ahead in hope to the glorious day when all mankind will share peace and good will with them.

Bro David Yelulani (Banket, Zimbabwe)

previous chapter previous page table of contents next page