What are we called to do as Christians?

What are we called to do as Christians?

The Gospel of Mark says it simply and succinctly.

” 30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” 32“Right, Teacher,” the scribe replied. “You have stated correctly that God is One and there is no other but Him… { Mark 12:30-31}

In this time in our national and world history, it is easy to want to retaliate those who do us harm with more violence. I will be the first to admit publicly that I wanted to physically harm all the Nazi protesters in Charlottesville.

As an American Christian with Jewish heritage { from my mother’s side of the gene pool} the very word ” Nazi” incites rage within me. Honestly, the whole ugly mess in Charlottesville was just too much for my heart to bear— I became increasingly angry and hateful towards them and expressed my views vehemently on Facebook and other social media outlets.

Without even knowing me, those Nazis hurt me with their signs, symbols and hateful rhetoric.

The actions of those Nazis cut into the fiber of my being. All I could think about were the 6 million Jewish women, men and children who were tortured and murdered at the whim of an Austrian mad man. My generation had been, up until recently, removed by time from the horrors of Europe under Hitler. Seeing those flags and salutes last week in Charlottesville felt like a literal nightmare.

I was reminded today that the answer to the violence and hatred happening now is NOT to retaliate.

The Gospel of Mark is clear . We are to” …love our neighbors as ourselves. ” Jesus did not come to Earth as a human, grow up to teach and preach, die a horrid death and risen just for a select few.  To Jesus, all people are His Neighbors.  Naturally, His neighbors are our neighbors and we are to honor the Christ in them.

So how can we fight hatred with LOVE?

I plan to volunteer for the School-Based Program of Big Brothers Big Sisters as soon as Best Dude and I get settled in our new house.  I cannot control the actions of the people who chose to become Nazis. But, in my own community I can mentor and guide a young girl so she will grow up with a good example in me.

We may need to think outside of the ” box” , but solutions to combatting hatred with LOVE are there.  If I learned anything from the events of these past two weeks, it is that there is so much more to do. It is up to me both as a Christian and a person of European Jewish descent, to spread a message to the next generation that Nazism { and all that it holds dear} is NOT a good way to live.

In the Name of The Father, Son and Holy Spirit.