While I've been sitting in Christmas services listening to the age-old carols and watching children's faces as they wonder at sparkling lights, pretty paper and for the younger ones, the sight of the mysterious one, Santa, my mind has often wandered to the closeness of war. If the West goes to war there will be many innocent children just like the ones I've been watching killed and injured. My questions start: If we are serious about war against weapons of mass destruction, why isolate Iraq? After all we have some sort of dialogue with North Korea, Pakistan and India, countries that have these weapons now. Is this a matter of powerful nations deciding who should hold power? Why confrontation and not collaboration? Why do fanatical bombers suicide anyway? Why do some peoples and countries hate the West so? Why? Why? Why? It's all very well to field my questions in this column, but from where do I get my answers? I guess I need to go back to my core beliefs. As a Christian and follower of the Person and teachings of my friend and Savior Jesus Christ, firstly I need to love as He taught me to love, 'Take no revenge, remember no wrongs, and always forgive'. He said, 'trust in Me, the creator and sustainer of the universe'. (After all Saddam Hussein could not breath without the divinely orchestrated atmospheric balance). Jesus said, 'you had a law once that was based on an eye for an eye, but I say to you, turn the other cheek when someone strikes you and your life will be blessed', and 'blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall inherit the earth'. Then if I'm going to be like Jesus, I need to follow His model of healing the broken hearted, binding up the wounded, and empathizing with the bereaved. And God said, 'trust in the Lord with all your heart and don't lean on your own understanding'. I ask you. How far away from a war model is this? What is the West thinking when some have as their motto, 'In God we trust'? In whose strength are we trusting? Maybe the short term pain of risk and trust would be better than the long-term pain of war. Jesus said 'love your enemies and do it in a big way'. I wonder what response we would get if we did that? We the Leaders of the Christian Churches of these valleys believe in this Jesus, in and through whose Name everything exists. We believe in the power of prayer as communication with our God and we believe all things are in and under His control, and we invite you to walk through this time of uncertainty with us. Make contact, call into a local Church or ring up a Pastor for a visit. God bless you with a peaceful and secure 2003.
Graeme Dawson B.Min.
Co-ordinator Focal Point
Valley Care Counselling Service 0409 517273
Christian & Missionary Alliance
Valley Christian Fellowship
Church of Christ
River Valley Church