A recent headline summed up the mood permeating society at many levels these days: “A Nation Divided: Can We Agree On Anything?” From “occupying” public places to governmental gridlock to radio talk shows, dispute appears to be favored above reason, while argument overrides civility, compromise, and actual communication.
The article asked, “Are we always contentious, never content? Always warring, never loving? How will we ever resolve our differences?”
Perhaps we can begin by learning a new/old universal language, one that can be freely understood by everyone – the language of divine Love spoken and lived by Christ Jesus. This is the native tongue in which he opened a dialogue with a woman at the extreme opposite end of the social and religious spectrum from himself. She was a Samaritan; Jesus, a Jew – and their respective peoples had built up walls of bitter hatred against each other for hundreds of years.
Yet Jesus immediately broke through those impenetrable barriers of nationality, religious differences, and distrust with a request so simple, basic, and yet so profound: a drink of water (see John 4:1-29).
From their very first words at the edge of the well, Jesus recognized not an enemy, but the woman of God’s creating. And then he offered her living water – the very Christ, the present knowledge of the Messiah’s peace, power, and grace. This refreshing and tangible evidence of God’s love to her, to everyone, touched her life deeply.
This ever-flowing, loving presence of the Christ can unite us today in that same common bond: seeing and genuinely appreciating the good in each other. By removing the destructive liabilities of hate and polarization, Christ effectively and quickly resolves arguments by calling on divine Love to dissolve the reaction and anger behind the yelling.
The founder of the Monitor, Mary Baker Eddy, has given our world a spiritually practical way to strengthen that bond. She wrote, “Each day I pray: ‘God bless my enemies; make them Thy friends; give them to know the joy and the peace of love’ ” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 220).
We can do the same. Starting today.
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