Goodness is stronger than evil.
Love is stronger than hate.
Light is stronger than darkness.
Life is stronger than death.
Victory is ours through Him who loves us!
~Archbishop Desmond Tutu
‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven.’ ~Jesus (Matthew 5)
Evil seems so apparent these days. It manifests itself in our local communities, in our national and international relationships, in our workplaces, in our intimate relationships and families, and even within our own hearts. What evil wants feels good for the short term – evil wants division, chaos, and fear. Evil wants us to be divided against each other. Evil wants us to be suspicious of each other and isolated, because when we are alone and fearful, we are weak and easily overpowered or controlled. It is so easy to get sucked into scapegoating or gossip, because for a moment it feels like we are safe if someone else is the target. But that kind of division only perpetuates itself and makes everyone, including the perpetrator, more afraid.
Instead, Jesus shows a way of love – love that risks, love that reaches out, love that connects beyond barriers, love that trusts God’s provision, love that forgives and creates – a 1 Corinthians 6 kind of love in action. Powers and principalities come and go, but these three things remain: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love, the love that we experience as grace and mercy from Christ, and the love we pass on because God first loved us. So we will not be fooled. Nothing will keep us safe except God, but we need only abide in His love to be secure. Evil will try to sway us toward fear and division, but we will not be persuaded. We will reject hatred, not because it is too powerful, but because it is too weak. We will proclaim, with our words but mostly with our lives, the truth that goodness is stronger than evil, light is stronger than darkness. And the God of mercy and wholeness, the Christ of healing and peace, and the Spirit of power and truth will meet us in that proclamation, granting reconciliation to his creation.