What the world needs now?

I could be wrong, however, this is what I think I remember.
When studying Islam in my history classes, I read the life of Muhammed. I do not remember the title or author’s name at this late date in my life. However, I was struck by how he had wanted to follow Jesus and be part of a Christian group but was rejected. That part of the story is similar to Mahatma Ghandi who went on to be a great political and spiritual leader in India in modern times and an inspiration to Martin Luther King who headed a peaceful march leading to social revolution in the U.S. Muhammed went on to be a great leader of his people.
I was impressed that Muhammed, like Joseph Smith who founded the Mormon group in the U.S., was visited by an angel with a message or messages for something new. Mohammed went on to provide new guidance to his people and with the help of his wife to organize their business affairs he became the father of Islam.
Angel visitations are also recorded in the Hebrew scriptures and in the Christian New Testament addition to the Hebrew Scriptures.
Angels visited Abraham with promises for the many nations that would be among his descendants. An Angel visited Hagar and Ishmael who had been cast out into the desert. He promised her that Ishmael would be a great nation, Gen. 21:18. Even earlier, God had answred Abraham’s prayer for Ishmael and promised Ishmael would be the father of 12 princes and become a great nation, Gen. 17:20. At Abraham’s funeral the two sons, Ishmael and Isaac, joined together to honor their father.
Jesus’ mother, Mary, was also visited by an Angel, Luke 1:26-35. Her son would be great and have a kingdom that never ends. An Angel also visited her fiance, Joseph, in a dream and said that Jesus would save people from their sins, Matt. 1:20-23.
Jesus had told his followers to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven,” Matt.5 44-45. It was only later that Christians began serving in armies to defend their countries. Mohammed also wanted a peaceful life. It was only later that he had to organize to defend his people. Neither wanted to wage aggressive war.
Jesus, himself, was a martyr for his faith, but he did not suicide. In the definition of martyr, i find no suggestion that suicide has the same honor as one who dies at the hands of others for their faith. So suicide violence makes other people martyrs, not themselves.
Jesus died for his faith and became the means of forgiveness for our shortcomings. As proof, his followers saw him several times after God raised him from death. Those who doubted were convinced when they finally saw him ascend to heaven and the promised Spirit came upon them at Pentecost, Acts 1:1-11 and Acts 2.
Jesus said that until John the Baptist came, people of violence had been trying to bring about the kingdom, but his message was different, one of love for God with one’s whole self and love for neighbor as oneself, even love for enemies. To enter the kingdom of heaven, kingdom of God, one needs to be born from above by the Spirit as Jesus told Nicodemus in Gospel of John chapter three of the Christian New Testament.
People, please do not be deceived by promises of any leader or nation that war will make you a hero, bring fame, or heaven. If you do not die in combat, post-traumatic stress will follow you, and for many, severe physical injury. As a member of our Bible class said one Sunday morning, we should be “bombing” our “enemies” with things they need, like food, clothing, shelter, and medical supplies. What do people attracted to ISIL, Taliban or Al-Queda need? Jobs, respect, food, clothing, education, acceptance, friendship, a place of importance in the world?
Our human nature has a tendency to violence, sometimes for a good cause, yet violence tends to breed more violence and cannot bring in the Kingdom of God, the peaceable kingdom described by Isaiah, where even the animals live in peace, Isa. 11, and nations will beat their swords into plowshares, their spears into pruning hooks and shall not lift up swords ( or planes and bombs ) against each other, Isa. 2:1-5.
Isaiah might say today, it is time to base the world economy on those things that bring peace, not war; scrap the military weapons and make agricultural and household items that really help people, and not hurt each other.
May you walk with God.


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