In my book of sermons, Sermons in War, there is a sermon that was preached as the third in a sequence of sermons immediately following 9/11 entitled, “God’s Savage Country.” By that I meant there were true believers and fundamentalist zealots in any number of religions who feel it their duty to maim, kill and destroy. I suggested we as Christians should be led by another vision, the mercy and peace of our Lord.
As we pause this coming holiday week-end to remember those who have served and fallen in military service to the United States, let us ponder some words I preached September 30, 2001.
Beloved, there is another country that has no borders. You will not find it on any map traced in lines or crossed by coordinates of longitude and latitude. It is the kingdom of love and light, mercy and kindness, generosity and benevolence. It is a country that exists in the meadows of the heart, filled with light and the fragrance of a loving God. Its citizens span the earth and include people from every nation, tribe and clan. Those who dwell there seek nothing less than the healing of creation, the redemption of humanity from its battles and wars with the flesh and the peaceful co-existence of all God’s creation. This country is the peaceable kingdom of God. May God’s kingdom of peace and justice overcome hatred and the darkness of this hour in which we find ourselves. May his love rule in our hearts now and always.
We salute all who have served in the Armed Forces. We pray for the peacemakers and noble opposition who by conscience could not participate in war. And we pray for a day when nations will be led by persons committed above all to the security and peace of their citizenry, seeking dialogue and mutual benefit prior to waging war. ~See you Sunday