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Whirled Peas
A Few Frank Rose 11-01-23

I enjoy cooking but mostly I enjoy a good, rare steak. My vegetable of choice, along with a crisp green salad, is peas. About four minutes after the pot of peas boils, I turn the fire off and let the peas sit for about five minutes. At this point I will drain the pot of all the water and then add a “healthy” (wink, wink, nod, nod) pat of butter. I place the lid back on and swirl the pan so the butter can cover all the peas. Clumsy as I am, on rare occasions the lid slips off for whatever reason and the peas go flying all over the kitchen. What a mess!

The world is like that as well. The Ukraine is a mess and everything there is still flying around. Now, Israel and the world experienced the horrific attack by Hamas, a renowned terrorist group but also the government of the West Bank/Gaza Strip. The ferocious and indiscriminate attack on the civilian population is not unlike the attacks on the Ukraine civilians by the Russian military. You must ask yourself; can humans get any lower? How can a human decapitate a baby? Jesus once said, “What you do to the least of these, you do to me.” Why do these horrible acts? What a travesty of nature, what a sin against God’s creation.

In Genesis God said this; “The Lord God said to the serpent, “I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and hers. To the woman he said, “I will make your pangs in childbirth.” And to the man he said, “Cursed is the ground because of you. By the sweat of your face in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life and you shall eat the plants of the field. You shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (I have excerpted this from Genesis for brevity.)

Based on these quotations, humankind is in the proverbial pot full of trouble.

Well, the long-term has taken a turn for the better. God has provided each of us with the gift of saving grace. We have Jesus, God’s son, who freely gave us a way back to his Father, and we have the Holy Spirit to guide us along that journey.

I can just hear the skeptics that are reading this right now thinking, “I don’t believe it!” How do we get from a totally flawed human population to a “peace that passes all understanding.”? Bear with me for just a few more paragraphs and the dots will get connected.

There are a couple of alternatives to consider. First, there is an action called a “just war”. In Methodism, we can find the concept of a “just war”. The second theory is that of “realism”.

So, is there anything that can lead to true world peace? Radical love. Radical love is the only way to achieve world peace. What is radical love? Biblically based radical love begins with the two great commandments. In Mark Chapter 9 “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Jesus went on to say, “On these two commandments hang all the laws and the prophets.” What could be more radical than that? And yet, can there be anything simpler? An all powerful, forgiving, all knowing, all merciful, and all loving God gives us the gift of grace to simply return to God the love he gives to us. And with that same grace and love we pass on to our neighbors, forgiveness, mercy, and love.

If we all practice radical love all the time conflict, especially armed conflict, cannot happen. Is this a world of flawed people? Surely, and while the flaw doesn’t suddenly go away, the grace of God is added to the mix. The grace of God allows us to overcome our fears, worries, and prejudices to fulfill the commandment to love our neighbor, in a radical way. The love spoken of in this context is commonly referred to as “agape”. “Agape” is one of several Greek words for love. When the word “agape” is used in the Bible, it refers to a pure, willful, sacrificial love that intentionally desires another’s highest good.

This is what ought to happen. 

An identical experience with radical love can cause world peace. Think about it. A pure love with no ulterior motives. A willful love that is fully intentional, that is, we want to love our neighbors. A sacrificial love means we would do anything and give anything to maintain that loving relationship. And an intentional love that inspires us to work toward our neighbor’s best interests. If that radical love were to simultaneously come to fruition the world over, how could we not have world peace?

The road to radical love is paved with prayer. By each of us praying for ourselves and our neighbors to adopt radical love as the only and highest form of behavior we can achieve world peace. Very easy to say, very difficult to do but we can achieve world peace through Christian radical love.


Francis (Frank) Remkiewicz is an area resident and contributes a monthly column focused primarily on faith and religion. He can be reached at Opinions expressed are those of the author.