My Sweet Grandbabies,
You are too young to know what’s happening in the world today. You dress up in your old Halloween costumes and play “Superhero” in a make-believe fantasy that always has a happy ending! I never want to take that away from you…but your grandmother has grown cynical over the years and Superheroes are hard to find these days.
I’m sure every grandparent has wondered the same as me today: “What kind of world will my grandkids grow up in?” My great-grandmother lived through World War 1 and my grandmother and my mother survived World War 2 and the Korean War, and I was a young child during the Vietnam War. And now? Well now we’re in the middle of a war against terrorism. It’s global war and to be absolutely truthful, I can’t tell the “good guys” from the “bad guys”.
“What is war?” you ask.
I wish I had a really good answer, but the best way to explain it is that war is the result when grown-ups do not know how to “love one another”. That’s the gist of it.
Jesus said that others will know us (Christians) by our love for one another. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35 I know you are smart kids so you’ve picked up on the fact that Jesus is talking about Christians loving one another. You know, like brothers and sisters love each other. Like families should love one another. It should be easy to do, right?
Remember the day you yelled, “I hate you!” at your Mommy when she gave you a time-out for being disrespectful to her? Or the time I yelled at you for breaking one of my favorite music boxes after I had told you not to touch it. I was mad at you and you were mad at me. For a while there you thought of me as a “bad guy”.
Adults call “bad guys” enemies.
To be sure there are enemies who are very, very bad people and need to be stopped so that they cannot hurt you or others. But you may also call some people “enemies” because you don’t agree with them, or they may not want to do the same things you want to do. Maybe they think or act differently than you, or maybe they try to prevent you from doing something you want to do regardless of whether or not it’s good for you. Anyone, even your own family can be your enemy at any given time, but it’s up to you to decide whether or not they STAY your enemy. That’s where love comes in.
You see, Jesus said, “Love your enemies.” (Matthew 5:44) That’s a tough thing to do. Believe me. It’s hard to love someone who has hurt you. It’s hard for you to forgive that kid who broke your toy, or the little girl who pushed you at the playground. It is natural for you to be mad at those kids. I get it! It makes perfect sense to want to push that little girl down on her keester the next time you’re at the playground. After all she deserves it! She was a “bad guy” and she was mean to you, so it’s perfectly okay for you to be mean right back…after all Superheroes must fight bad guys, right?
Jesus tells you to do the opposite of what is natural to you…love instead of hate! Why? Because if you love someone it will be easier to forgive them when they hurt or disappoint you. It is easier to show compassion and care, and have empathy for those who don’t think or act the way you do. It allows you to avoid the fights in the first place and turn away wrath! (Proverbs 15:1) Love covers over a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8) the Bible says. So Jesus asks you to be a Superhero! A Superhero with an ultimate power that will right all wrongs…LOVE!
Just imagine if LOVE were your Super-Power according to 1 Corinthians 13. You would be patient, and kind. You would never envy, or boast or be prideful. You would never dishonour others. You would be humble and not self-seeking. You would not be angry and would keep no record of wrongs. You would not delight in evil but rejoice in TRUTH! You would protect, trust, hope and always persevere! You would never fail in doing good!
Imagine if EVERYONE in the world had that Super-Power! Wouldn’t that be awesome? We could stop hate right in its tracks! There would be no more wars!
Unfortunately, you may have noticed that most adults haven’t figured that out. There are no real-life Superheroes in our big world. We get mad and stay mad at each other. We refuse to forgive someone who has been mean to us. We stop being friends. We hate. We go to war.
We have no idea how to forgive and forget. We don’t know how to love our own brothers and sisters in Christ properly, let alone anyone else who doesn’t share our beliefs. We complain, we bicker, we fight amongst ourselves. If we cannot love each other, how in the world can we love our enemies??
So, my grandbabies…it’s up to you.
The world needs Superheroes right now. It requires super-human effort to right the wrongs of this world. It may mean standing up for truth and justice until the enemy is defeated, and yes, that may require going to battle. That’s the consequence of living in a selfish, sinful world. So we’ll fight the good fight until you’re old enough to take up the banner. But then it’s up to you to not repeat the mistakes of the past. To do what we have not been able to do in this lifetime: to totally embrace Jesus’ philosophy of peace and HOPE. It’s up to you to be the new Superheroes…REAL heroes who will make a REAL difference in this world…and heroes who are known by their LOVE!
I know you can do it!