What IS so funny ’bout peace, love, and understanding?

attackWe’re most certainly living in troubled times…with terrorist threats, violent civil unrest, and deeply divided polarization on issues. But this is exactly when Jesus’s Church should shine the brightest, rather than being part of the problem.

But the only way we’re going to do that is to get in line with Jesus’ agenda, not our own.

You see, the world we’re trying to convince is not impressed by our “we’re right and you’re wrong” apologetics, threats of hell, and predictions of doom. They’re also suspicious of our glad-handed greeting when they visit our churches as we profess love while condemning those “who aren’t like us.” They grow weary of our hypocritical moralizing and are certainly put off by our infantile divisive bickering amongst ourselves.

Most things we think are important aren’t even on the radar of how Jesus said the world would hear us! Just look at these two statements:

35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35 *)

23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. (John 17:23 *)

Love_keyI’m convinced that there’s only one mission we should be focused on, and that’s learning how to walk in other-centered love in community (common-unity). And we don’t get this by just deciding to become more ecumenical; we only get this by living out of the dynamic flow in relationship with Love. For when we truly see ourselves in Christ, we will see each other there, too.

No matter what worthy cause we think we may be doing for God, if it’s not done from this other-centered love, we’re all just noisy gongs, expending a lot of hot air, saying nothing at all (1 Cor.13:1-3). So…why waste our breath!

Can you hear Me nowcan you hear Me now?

I really think that every once and awhile God leaks profound truth through our popular music culture in order to tell us what the world is looking for. This pop classic (written by Nick Lowe, sung by Elvis Costello in 1979) was one such example, and I believe it’s still prophetically speaking to us today.

Think about what this song is saying for a moment…

As I walk through
This wicked world
Searchin’ for light in the darkness of insanity.
I ask myself
Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?

And each time I feel like this inside,
There’s one thing I wanna know:
What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding? Ohhhh
What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding?

And as I walked on
Through troubled times
My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes
So where are the strong
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony.

Each time I feel it slippin’ away, just makes me wanna cry.
What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding? Ohhhh
What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding?

Beloved, what the world is crying out for is real hope, real love, real peace, and sweet harmony. Are we listening?

And who actually has the answer to this deep longing? Of course, Jesus does. But where will they find Him? They will find Him in us! That is, us living in sweet harmony that comes from abiding in Christ’s other-centered love. And since God is the God of peace, and grace requires compassionate and empathetic understanding, could it be that God was channeling Elvis Costello for us here? Again, are we listening?

So, my question for us as professed Christ followers is this: what IS so funny about peace, love, and understanding?

To him (or her) who has ears to hear…

* All emphasis mine.
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About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 36 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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4 Responses to What IS so funny ’bout peace, love, and understanding?

  1. paulfg says:

    πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ (oh go on then … ) πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

  2. What a great work. Good words. I wonder how many of us truly know, and practice, other-centered-love? You’re right. Jesus is the only path to peace, love and understanding. Great post, my friend. God bless.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks Steven. And you’re right. The only way we can practice this kind of love is by leaving our legalized, transactional relationship with God, where we keep Him at a distance behind our systematic theology, for one of childlike naked intimacy and honest openness. His love toward us is like what we feel when we first become parents and hold our child. It’s ferocious! There’s nothing we wouldn’t do for them! This is the same love we’re to have for the whole world. But we can’t manufacture it on our own, we only receive it abiding in God’s love (John 15:9). But when we do, He changes our heart, little by little, until His healing love and grace pours out of us, too. πŸ™‚

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