It was cold even for the children.
In school we had drills about where to go if a tornado was coming. There were fire drills when teachers led us outside in orderly lines. And we had drills should a nuclear bomb explode. We were instructed to get beneath our desk and not look at the explosion.
Even children felt the cold of the cold war. There was the threat of the Cuban Missile Crisis when Russian missiles were pointed at the United States to be launched from Cuba.
Our parents understood what was at stake. Even though we didn’t understand the cold war, it took away some childhood innocence. Perhaps some of the unrest of the ‘60s grew partially from these experiences.
I thought my grandchildren would not grow up under a nuclear cloud.
The nuclear saber rattling with North Korea, the threat of war with Venezuela, bring back cold memories.
Sadly, there are those in evangelical Christendom that are all too ready to go to war. There is nothing in the teaching of Jesus that encourages such action.
If you read the “red letter” editions of the Bible (those where the words of Jesus are in red) we have a thorough understanding of Jesus teaching. For those who say this takes Jesus out of historical context of the rest of scripture, I would remind you that all scripture is to be interpreted through the life and teaching of Christ.
With xenophobia, fear of immigrants, bigotry of the alt-right and white supremacists, how do we live as followers of Jesus Christ?
First, we find our protection in God. Psalms 46:1-3: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”
Mountains falling into the sea? Does that sound like the devastation of nuclear weapons? But even in such dire scenarios, God’s people find in Him our refuge, and strength. Does that mean we will not go through the experience? No. But it does mean God’s people will be given the strength to do what needs to be done.
“For I can do everything God wants me to through the strength Christ gives me.” Phil 4:13
As followers of Christ we cannot trust our missiles, nor military power, not economic power, nor our capitalism. Our hope and strength must be in God.
Psalm 20:7 “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
Here are some words from 1963 that fit today.
“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.” MLK Jr. 1963
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” MLK Jr 1963
“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed.” MLK Jr 1963
God’s prophets must speak up today.