Copyright, © 2003 Jordan White
If you have anything to do with horticulture, you know that climate control is of utmost importance.
You know that if a plant thrives in certain conditions, then, if you want healthy, growing, vital plants, then you need to provide them with that climate.
For instance, you would not try to grow coconut palms or banana trees in the Canadian Rockies or the Russian steppes.
You would create a climate that is warm and moist. You would make sure there was adequate sunlight. You would provide the proper amount of nourishment for your growing plants.
So it is with the Gospel. The Gospel does not thrive in a climate of hatred and fear. It does not thrive when racism and war-mongering are being spewed out by those who should be speaking and living the language of love.
The Reverend William Sloane Coffin has said, rightly, that Christianity’s two Biblical mandates are not preserving the sanctity of life and stamping out sin, but rather the pursuit of justice and the search for peace.*
When we, as Chrisitians, set our minds on justice and peace, and we swallow and digest the very difficult truths of the Sermon on the Mount, we have begun to create a climate in which the Gospel will take hold, root and grow.
And, as it grows, it will, by its own power, begin to root out evil, choking it out, and replacing it with Christ’s own love.
Reverend Coffin quotes St. Augustine as saying, “Never fight evil as if it were something that arose totally outside of yourself”.
Words of wisdom for us all, in this most difficult of times.
*Quotes from William Sloane Coffin are from an interview conducted by Ben McGrath, published in the December 1, 2003 issue of the New Yorker.