This is Not What God Wants

Shootings in movie theaters? This is not what God wants.

Violence leading to more violence? This is not what God wants.

People shouting and picketing and rioting with judgment and hatred? This is not what God wants.

People who feel so much desperation, hopelessness, emptiness that they would knowingly take the lives of others? This is not what God wants.

A society where people are afraid to leave their homes, where people feel like they need to be on their guard for the safety of their children, where people are scared to the point that their first reaction to anyone new or different is suspicion? This is not what God wants.

This is what God wants:

“They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.” This is what God wants.

“Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” This is what God wants.

“The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together…they will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” This is what God wants.

“Never again will there be infants who live but a few days, or older people who do not live out their years; those who die at a hundred will be thought mere youths…For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people…for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them.” This is what God wants.

“Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain.” This is what God wants.

“Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.” This is what God wants.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” This is what God wants.

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” This is what God wants.

If this is what God wants, then may those of us who claim to be God’s children make it be so. If this is what God wants, then may those of us who proclaim that we are followers of Jesus enact God’s wishes in our lives, in the way we treat and love and cherish the friends, relatives, neighbors, and especially the “enemies” in our midst. This is what God wants.

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