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The Peace of Christ

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Peace Now Please
by Catherine Whelan Costen
It is April 2007 and in a few days we shall witness and many will participate in, the greatest and holiest of weeks for Christians. Easter is upon us again. The passion of the Christ. A 2000 year old tradition. Not only a religious event, a spiritual event and a historical event, so powerful and moving it was developed into a movie.
That movie stirred and provoked people all over the world. Deep contemplation came from that movie. Equally disturbing was the anger and fear it created. The old rivalry between who was right and who was wrong. Who is right today? Who is wrong?

Peace is not only is desirable by all people who value all humanity living on a healthy planet! 
As I reflect on the passion of the Christ I wonder what does it all mean. Why do we go through the ceremonial traditions of this one being’s suffering, death and resurrection? What does it mean to us?
He walked the earth and preached for three years. He taught.  He declared. He chastised and He did it through love. After His resurrection a group of followers began to spread His message. The followers grew and became groups. The groups were persecuted and formed hideouts and symbols to communicate. It grew.
Today we have many, many variations of His teachings, however the primary teachings are seldom evident in the actions of those who claim to follow Him today. Jesus did not condemn Judas, yet many of us do!
He said, the old Testament was the old way. His way was the new way., called the New Testament.
The old Testament said, ‘an eye for an eye’ .
The New Testament said, ‘love your neighbour as yourself, love your enemy, and turn the other cheek’.
He declared from the agony of the cross, in the company of thieves, and before the soldiers who drew lots for his clothes, spit on him, speared his side and crushed his hands and feet with nails and forced the crown of thorns into his scull, in the presence of his mother, he declared, ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!’ If ever there was a historical monumental moment for vengeance, for wrath, for righteous and a just war, it was then!
Even before he got to this horror of public humiliation and brutality, in the Garden when the soldiers came to arrest him and one of his followers raised his sword to defend Him, He said, ‘NO, not in my name!’
I ask you to consider if NOT in HIS name to save HIS life, then how on earth can anyone justify murder, war, killing of any kind in HIS name for our sake?
For those who believe Jesus the Christ was/is the Messiah, how can we believe that anything on this earth, whether it be oil, land, control of others, power, greed or anything else be delivered unto us in HIS name through violence of any kind? Is control of oil of more value than the Son of God? Is ruling the people of the planet more important than saving the Messiah? If you believe He is/was the Son of God and the Messiah and He declared His kingdom was not here and he had no desire to be king on this earth, why and how can any other human being believe they should rule over the masses?
He came to show us the way. He didn’t simply tell us what to do, he showed us how to do it. He said, ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life’.  I fail to see any evidence that He may have suggested that killing could be justified.
So it is with great sorrow that I prepare for Easter this year. It is with great sorrow that I see more and more evidence of people succumbing to the enslavement of each other. When I see people declaring themselves Christians and yet oppressing others, enslaving others, restricting others through false imprisonment, detainment or persecution, through poverty, homelessness and ‘so called, just’ wars.
Why are we raising up other human beings to a level that supersedes anything I have understood from Jesus’ teachings? Why are we giving away our free will through political correctness, political ideology that we do not understand? Why are we giving up our God given freedom for a false sense of security? We don’t even stop to question much anymore. We have lost our way. For those of you who are not Christians and who have come to believe the media rhetoric of what Christianity is, please forgive us, for once again it seems we know not what we do!
The Father in Heaven that Jesus spoke of is so filled with love for every single one of us it must be breaking His heart to see this selfish power struggle using people’s beliefs as ammunition. The God of the Universe, the Creator, the Energy and Life force, and whatever many others call God cannot be enjoying this level of humanity.
We have sunk so low in our pursuit of intelligence. We are so intelligent today that we refuse to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, offer drink to the thirsty in fact many of us do not even see those in need.
We are so arrogant that we sit in judgement of customs we do not understand or religions that are not like ours. Though we know, ‘judge not lest thou be judged’, we do it anyway. We judge people subhuman so that when we decide to kill them we shall feel no remorse. We judge lifestyles wrong when they are different, so that we might elevate ourselves. We listen to formal gossip that creates illusions about races of people and we do not investigate further to find truth. Why do we do this?
Canadians talk peace. Yet we do not speak so that we are heard. We talk freedom but we are allowing ourselves to become slaves under a corporate rule called the North American Union. Christ did not say follow the rulers, or find someone to rule you, or you are too stupid to know your own way, find someone to tell you what to do! He said I am the way! We talk democracy, but we don’t vote. We talk a lot but we don’t say much when it really counts.
An apt observation in my opinion; “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Mahatma Gandhi
Every religion has great teachers and to Christians, Jesus was the greatest, but what difference does it make if our great teachers are only used for their name and not their teachings? Easter is a time of forgiveness for Christians. It is also a time of hope. So let us hope in humanity’s ability to take off the blinders, remove the plank from our own eyes and see the beauty of every other human being and cease our destructive ways.
Let us hope that God forgives us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Let us hope that in our lenten sacrifices and reflection we come to know our own souls enough to recognize the pain we are causing and immediately move towards real freedom.
Let us love our enemy and perhaps we’ll find they are not our enemy at all. Let us stand up and be heard. Let us turn away from this false world of idols, and short term satisfaction, so that we can nurture the planet, so that it may continue to give us our daily bread! Easter is the time of new life, rebirth and so it can be, if we chose it.
Let us seek HOLY Peace! Let us seek JUST Peace! Let us not only seek it but deliver it!
Happy, Blessed and Joyous Peace to All of Humanity
Catherine Whelan Costen

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