Advent begins and billions of people await the coming of Jesus while China expresses world security concerns due to North Korea's threat to launch another missile in their neighborhood sometime between December 10 and 22. Meanwhile the Jerusalem Post reports that Tehran reps are hanging out in Pyongyang to support their buddies and check out how to do it themselves, presumably alarming Israelis that their backyards could be next. Boys will be boys playing with their toys especially at Christmastime, but allowing these bad boys to play together could prove to be a dangerous game to watch and allow taking place. Ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu taught "peace amongst nations begins between neighbors... peace begins in the family and in the heart." As a parent of five sons (and two daughters), the one with the most influence must mediate battles for a successful resolution. China has that influence with North Korea and Iran, with support of America and other righteous nations. The Gospel of Luke teaches "for nothing will be impossible for God (Lk.1:37)."
The world is watching 12-21-12 approach, curious if the Mayan civilization called D-Day right. More recent warnings claim, "How long will it be? Keep your eye on Israel. This is the center.... The more danger there is to Israel, the closer the time will be." These prophecies shared on the worldwide web documented by Monsignor John Esseff of Scranton, Pa., seem kosher (so to speak) since asserting he was spiritual director for Mother Teresa and his spiritual director was Padre Pio. The messages are definitely thought-provoking, including predicting recent Libya and Egypt events before they happened.
World peace and security are difficult to achieve but most would agree, well worth the effort. Having experienced the trepidation of the Cuban Missile Crisis and later as a teenager living on the contentious borders of Israel, Jordan and Egypt, I was inspired while wading in the Red Sea to devote my life to work for peace and multicultural harmony through tourism and charitable endeavors.
Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the tourism industry was also decimated. As a member of the advisory board of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute we were briefed by security experts. We invited a visiting professor from Afghanistan to a symposium for peace and security. Dr. Tarzi informed us he was a devout Muslim well versed on Judaism and Christianity. It was an unexpected surprise to hear his passionate advice. In his view, based on the teachings of world religions, the only man to follow for achieving peace was Jesus. In Islam and Christianity, Jesus will come again on Judgment Day. One could say there is holy ground for Christians and Muslims to share especially when it comes to Mary the Mother of Jesus. "Maryam" is mentioned more often in the Qur'an than in the Bible. Like Christians, Muslims hold Mary as the most blessed woman in heaven and on earth. They believe in her Immaculate Conception and the Virgin Birth. Dr. Tarzi as an articulate emissary from the troubled Taliban region proclaimed that the biblical teaching of "an eye for an eye" was contradicted by Jesus' steadfast message of love; even when harm is done to you, "love thy enemy." The "Jesus approach" he argued was necessary for peace to become reality in a very dangerous world with weapons of mass destruction. Arguably, countering the devastation of terrorism challenges this virtuous method for conflict resolution and the successful Reagan doctrine was "peace through strength." Engaging a balance of both methods in foreign policy is prudent.
Is the destructive plotting of weapon proliferation simply macho maneuvers or should we brace ourselves for last scenes as depicted in the Hollywood screenplay of Star Wars or written in the Book of Revelation? Both apocalyptic scenarios portray the battle of "the dark versus The Light." Some could say the North Korea and Iran "nuke buddy" news reported on December 2nd is ironic since that was the day in 1942 the Manhattan Project's first self-sustaining nuclear chain event was announced. America has "lead by example" issues to contend with when discussing nukes so I submit we turn to China for human intervention and to Luke for divine. Not Luke Skywalker but Luke the Apostle. He has some good advice. Luke calls upon followers to identify with the master Jesus, who is caring and kind-hearted. No Gospel writer is more expressive about Jesus' compassion, mercy and concern for all creation than Luke. Luke's Gospel advances that following Jesus' teachings with an interior life of prayer is the way to peace and security.
During tumultuous times Christians worldwide kneel fervently in church pews, adopting the British crisis philosophy "keep calm and carry on." After all, Christmas is coming soon. So Mr. President and other leaders you better watch out and you better be good, we're telling you why, Jesus Christ is coming to town. His Mother is bringing him like Luke reported: "And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, 'behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted... so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed'( Lk. 2:34-36). "
From Washington, D.C. to Jerusalem to Beijing to Pyongyang and Tehran, if they pay attention to Luke, leaders will be inspired to consider Jesus' teachings found within insightful parables. An example is,
"The Parable of the Sower explained: the seed is the word of God. Those on the path are the ones who have heard, but the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts that they may not believe and be saved. Those on rocky ground are the ones when they hear, receive the word with joy but they have no root; they believe for only a time and fall away in time of trial. As for the seed that fell among thorns, they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life and they fail to produce mature fruit. But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance" (Lk. 8:11-15).
Brothers and sisters, let us remember Luke's advice from Jesus and hope that we "bear fruit through perseverance" by our actions of compassion, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Lk. 6:31)." And thus no nukes, instead: "Peace be with you (Lk. 24:36)." Zhu ne ping an!