The Virus of Hate
(Posted March 6, 2020)
“Do not allow hate to take root in your heart.”--- Lailah Gifty Akita, Ghanian Author
Most of us know that, when Jesus gave the crowds during his mountainside sermon the blessings we know as the Beatitudes, he essentially was giving us a complete road map of personal behavior that would lead us to his heart and to heaven. I promised that we would walk this route during Lent, and so, for our first Beatitude, I picked “a doozy.”
Blessed Are the Clean of Heart, For They Shall See God
“Clean of heart?” You may say about yourself. “That’s a tall order. I don’t feel very ‘clean of heart’ right this moment. There’s been so much anger, disrespect and cynicism lately, that right now I’m not proud of some of the thoughts that sometimes flit through my head.”
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The Virus of Hate: 'Purell' to Heal Our Hearts
But isn’t it fascinating how, at this point in time, we are ALSO consumed with the fact that a “foreign agent,” a virus, has invaded our home territory. We seek every way to keep ourselves safe, to sanitize our homes and safeguard our children so that the virus won’t infect us. We feel like we need to isolate ourselves from the contamination.
But when I look at this situation, there’s an irony that many of us are missing. The entire viral situation is a metaphor for what has invaded our world over the past four or so years. And on a much more toxic level. Very slowly, the seeds of hate and division had entered our culture and taken silent root. Things that not long ago were considered completely socially unacceptable -- name calling, bullying, character assassination, lying, racism, sexism and power-grabbing -- are things that bombard us daily from our TVs, computers and radios. We feel like we need to isolate ourselves from the contamination. This, however, only cuts us off from learning the ways to restore the clean heart that Jesus tells us is a prerequisite to entering his kingdom.
So, how do we heal our hearts? What kind of spiritual “Purell” will reset our hearts to receive God’s light, and make us able to see God in other people and in circumstances that call for us to act as healers? On a weekend when we engage in “Daylight Saving,” we need the Good News of just how utterly do-able it really is to lighten our hearts, to make them pure and immune to hate. Join us on Sunday to find out!