Jesus was born into a culture of violence. Games of brutality were popular with men fighting one another, sometimes to the death. Often they were forced to fight for their lives. This was considered entertainment. Keeping the peace or Pax Romana, was done by military force. It is not so different today.
Games of brutality are played on fields where brain trauma is inflicted and bones broken. Games of brutality are played on TV and computer screens. Games are played with laser guns and paint guns. Where does the line of "game" and "reality" lie?
Jesus was born into a culture of violence and as God's ambassador lived and taught a different way. Jesus still shows us the way out of violence. It is to care for the outcast, heal the sick and wounded in body and spirit, feed the hungry, shelter those without shelter, and love our enemy.
Paul saw that he and all others who bear the name "Christian" were ambassadors for God.
Let us continue to run the race that is set before us, looking to Christ our savior, the pioneer and perfector of our faith who shows us a far better way, God's way. It is the way that brings hope, deepens compassion and transforms us into people of peace.
We are on this way at FCC Pomona where we are working with other faith communities to address the crisis of housing in our place and time, providing space for emergency shelter on our campus, supporting food security programs in our communities, providing a safe place for young children to receive quality education and care and so much more. We are God's antidote to the culture of violence. Let us continue to support each other and grow this important work of God.