It is often observed by my friends, and even by my wife, that I might be a little too “angry” for someone who supposedly is called to a ministry of presenting the gospel to others. They don’t go so far as to call me a hypocrite, but I do think they’re pointing out that I’m not always that nice, that I don’t necessarily embody forgiveness (or even the golden rule), that “Christian” implies a graciousness I simply lack.
In the social media I often read about a Christian community that has excluded an innocent person or demonized a marginalized group. The writer then juxtaposes this with a pithy saying from Jesus about loving all persons. And there you have it—we Christians are exposed as two-faced and heartless, insensitive to anything but our own proclamations of righteousness.
Isaiah’s beautiful vision of peace in Isaiah 2 is the Old Testament lesson for the first Sunday of Advent. Evgeniy Vuchetich powerfully and evocatively captures Isaiah’s vision in this bronze statue. It stands in the garden of the United Nations, a gift from the Soviet Union in 1959. In the midst of the cold war, the gift was regarded by some as a propagandistic ploy by the Soviets.