The following is taken from a newsletter written by Ed Richardson, a retired pastor living in Colorado. For those of us struggling with circumstances around the world, may it remind you of reality.
Hear, O Evil
Evil, we have something to say to you. And as we speak we do not deny your present power among men, nor the pain your intrusion has brought to each of us. You have raised your very head in our midst. You have mortally wounded. You mock. You scoff. You gape at us, your bleeding victims. You laugh with derision and hideous howl as a fiendish victor.
Yet, we have something to say to you: Know this, O Evil, we have learned what you have not, though your days have been long and ours quite short. We speak of your delusion – your defeat. For three things abide; only three realities remain. Under these all else shall be subdued; by these all else finally conquered. Not hate! Not lust! Not fear! None of these!
Rather: faith, and hope, and love.
FAITH in Jesus Christ, who gave Himself up for us all.
HOPE in Jesus Christ, who shall make all things new.
LOVE – the LOVE of God – the final and consummating reality, to which everything and everyone else shall bow.
Hear our words, O Evil. They are sure. God has spoken. God has acted. This is your hour – your day. You show yourself plain. You foolishly boast of triumph and gain. There soon comes an hour – a Day – an Age – when your laughing shall be turned to wailing, your confidence to terror. Every victim bloodied by your ruthless hand shall rise up over you in that Day. You see, while you were scheming in hate, we were living in love. While you were murdering in fear, we were dying in faith. While you were destroying in lust, we were enduring in hope. While you have been mocking and scowling, we have been praying,
Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven….
Our Father is God. Our Father hears us. His kingdom shall come!
Every evil plan of yours on earth in countered with the loving purpose of Almighty God in heaven. Every vile act of yours shall be swallowed up by the Holy Love of Jesus. Every thrust of spear and sword and knife is muted by our forgiveness. Every man and woman and child you have ever deceived and used to execute your deeds shall be embraced and liberated by their victims, and subdued by the loving judgment of God.
Then, you will be naked.
You will be alone.
You will be stripped – your power shattered; your reign broken; your life gone. No place shall remain for you.
Jesus is Lord! Not evil! Jesus is Lord!
Remember him? One of your victims. Remember that day? Scandalous betrayal…infamous trial…cruel mockery…ruthless beating. A hill…a cross…nails…a spear. Meaningless piercing of the Son of God’s side! The earth trembled. The sun hid its face. But that gaping wound spells your doom. His death is your death!
Death could not hold him. Look at that empty tomb! He whom you slaughtered is alive for ever-more! Add more blood if you will; kill if you must kill. Death cannot hold us! He lives – we live.
Our Faith is in Him!
Our Hope is in Him!
Our Love is towards Him!
Jesus is Lord!
You attack our faith with senseless brutality. You challenge our hope with death and distress. You threaten our love with vile deeds.
But, hear this, O Evil, Jesus Christ Himself strengthens our faith. Jesus Christ enlarges our hope. Jesus Christ deepens our love. Even our death at your hand increases our triumph over you.
You have bruised our heel; we shall crush your head.
Everything is ours! The world…the present…the future…life…death. All things are ours, and we are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. Jesus is Lord! Amen.