There are many illustrious titles given Jesus: Rabbi and Master (teacher), Lord, Savior, Messiah (Hebrew word meaning Christ), Christ (Greek word meaning Messiah). But none surpasses Prince of Peace. This week’s news has centered on the death of Nelson Mandela. This South African hero and leader, who–like Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr.–looked to Jesus for instruction.
Early in Mandela’s ONE term as President of South Africa, their world champion soccer team went abroad to compete. At that time the team was all white. Mandela’s advisers suggested the adoption of new more “African” colors for the team. Mandela would have none of it. He saw no merit in punishing or dis-respecting white people. He set a new tone for governments in Africa: take no revenge on your predecessors or on others who have abused you. He took his instructions from the PRINCE OF PEACE.
Recently, including this very week, some very important Americans and others abroad, have advocated that our country refrain from negotiating with the new (and more conciliatory) President of Iran. They have advocated ever more harsh sanctions, thereby depriving the people of Iran of much that is needed to live. And, if it means war, so be it. I do not know enough about the new treaty with Iran, but I do know it was negotiated by very smart and experienced people, and that it is likely a good thing to try to establish peace with all countries. I also know that “desperate people do desperate things.”
From the individual to whole nations, it seems to me that it does not require the mind of “rocket scientist” to know that helping, healing and befriending both persons and nations is more likely to produce peace, trade and prosperity than does a vengeful attitude.
President Teddy Roosevelt outlined a foreign policy that has governed America in much of the past century: “Walk softly…And, carry a big stick.” Wars kill and maim young men and women who fight the wars and kill others including children and the elderly. They destroy property, despoil the earth.
We are now in a season that remembers and honors “the Prince of Peace.” Give yourself a Christmas gift: drop all temptations to retaliate or punish others. Seize the initiative in relations with others. Set a tone of friendliness, kindness and generosity. You WILL be rewarded!