Jane Eyre – a musical by John Caird and Paul GordonTonight Mary Kate and Ian got into a squabble of the young child sort. Ian called Mary Kate a “pig” at some point in the pointless back and forth. Both of them felt injured and full of wounds. Have you ever tired to ajudicate one of these moments? Believe me, it is tempting to pull a John Kerry and attempt to leave the entire issue to the U.N. Or to the French. Or to anyone. What stuck in my head at the end of it all, when both children had cried themselves to sleep, was the wisdom of our Lord. Love your enemies. Pray for those who despitefully use you. So counter to my impulse which is to defend or to despise, I must forgive and love. My favorite musical of the past four years was Jane Eyre. Hope and I were lucky enough to see it on Broadway. The house of jaded New Yorkers gave a standing ovation that night to one song: Forgiveness. It contained a line that has haunted me, “Forgiveness is the mightiest sword.” The song which reminded secular New York that “the Gospel is true, you must forgive those who lie” is especially vital now.Of course, states must execute justice. Just wars must be fought and criminals arrested. Christians do not get to hate the foe. Even Sadaam or Usama must be given a dignified death. Though it seems nearly impossible, justice must be served cold with no glory in revenge. We cannot do just anything to win the War, but as best we can love our enemy and try to come to peace with him quickly. Tough love, yes, but love none the less.Christians are called to separate from fellow believers who continue willfully to walk in sin. But even that pulling apart should be done with sorrow and with hope for restitution. There should be earnest prayers that the unholy Christian would change and find the joy of holiness. The Christian can have no enemies except for those who make themselves God’s enemies. Even then, we must not hate, but forgive. In that manner, we place justice in God’s hands. We pray for mercy on all men, given our need of mercy.
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