“I will listen to what the Lord says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants - but let them not turn to folly.” (Psalm 85:8)
Thought for the day:
Maybe you’ve heard the story of Telemachus…
Telemachus was a monk who lived in the 4th century. He felt God saying to him, "Go to Rome." He was in a cloistered monastery. He put his possessions in a sack and set out for Rome. When he arrived in the city, people were thronging in the streets. He asked why all the excitement and was told that this was the day that the gladiators would be fighting and killing each other in the coliseum, the day of the games, the circus.
He thought to himself, "Four centuries after Christ and they are still killing each other, for enjoyment?" He ran to the coliseum and heard the gladiators saying, "Hail to Ceasar, we die for Ceasar" and he thought, "this isn't right." He jumped over the railing and went out into the middle of the field, got between two gladiators, held up his hands and said "In the name of Christ, forbear."
The crowd protested and began to shout, "Run him through, Run him through." A gladiator came over and hit him in the stomach with the back of his sword. It sent him sprawling in the sand. He got up and ran back and again said, "In the name of Christ, forbear." The crowd continued to chant, "Run him through." One gladiator came over and plunged his sword through the little monk's stomach and he fell into the sand, which began to turn crimson with his blood. One last time he gasped out, "In the name of Christ forbear."
A hush came over the 80,000 people in the coliseum. Soon a man stood and left, then another and more, and within minutes all 80,000 had emptied out of the arena. It was the last known gladiatorial contest in the history of Rome.
Hear those words: “In the name of Christ, forbear!” Are you one who is warring, be it with weapons or words? When we are, we condemn ourselves to a life of imperfection; a life without peace. So where do we find the courage to forbear? Where do we find a sacrificial “peace that passes all understanding”? David writes: “I will listen to what the Lord says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants - but let them not turn to folly.” (Psalm 85:8)
Lasting peace, heart-penetrating peace, peace that is far more than the absence of violence, it is a peace born out of a relationship with God. May those with ears, listen.
Prayer for the day:
Dear God, if I am in a war of words with myself or another, if i am participant in violence of any kind against those whom God has created. Grant me a heart-penetrating peace! Amen.