Pentecost 50

Pentecost 50

My Psalm 50

An Appropriate Sacrifice

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The man speaking was irate. “I am telling to the parties – both Israelis and Hamas, Palestinians, that it is morally wrong to kill your own people,” he said. “Whole world has been watching, is watching with great concern. You must stop fighting. And enter into dialogue. “Whatever grievances you may have, this is wrong. Why are you continuing to kill people? There are many other ways to resolve this issue without killing each other.”

Leo Tolstoy wrote, in “War and Peace” that “You can love a person dear to you with a human love, but an enemy can only be loved with divine love.” He continued with the thought that humans are not fit to serve as judge and jury as far as determining the world’s fate. ““It’s not given to people to judge what’s right or wrong. People have eternally been mistaken and will be mistaken, and in nothing more than in what they consider right and wrong.”

Life was about love, Tolstoy felt. “Yes, love, …but not the love that loves for something, to gain something, or because of something, but that love that I felt for the first time, when dying, I saw my enemy and yet loved him. I knew that feeling of love which is the essence of the soul, for which no object is needed. And I know that blissful feeling now too. To love one’s neighbors; to love one’s enemies. To love everything – to Love God in all His manifestations. Someone dear to one can be loved with human love; but an enemy can only be loved with divine love. And that was why I felt such joy when I felt that I loved that man. What happened to him? Is he alive? …Loving with human love, one may pass from love to hatred; but divine love cannot change. Nothing, not even death, can shatter it. It is the very nature of the soul.”

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appears to agree with Tolstoy. As he addressed the world after a recent bombing in Gaza which appeared to target a United Nations refugee center, his words seemed to echo the history of the region, going back as far as the times of the original Psalm 50. “I am telling to the parties … that it is morally wrong to kill your own people.” AS Tolstoy wrote, “Kings are the slaves of history.”

Mankind is forever hiding fear behind bravado. Tolstoy described the various ethnicities this way: ““A Frenchman’s self-assurance stems from his belief that he is mentally and physically irresistibly fascinating to both men and women. An Englishman’s self-assurance is founded on his being a citizen of the best organized state in the world and on the fact that, as an Englishman, he always knows what to do, and that whatever he does as an Englishman is unquestionably correct. An Italian is self-assured because he is excitable and easily forgets. A Russian is self-assured simply because he knows nothing and does not want to know anything, since he does not believe in the possibility of knowing anything fully.” I would add that those in the Middle East forget their common bond, their common history, and in doing so, desecrate their past, destroy their present, and deny their future.

We pretend we are enough to serve as a world judge. We hide behind our religions, faiths, beliefs, and spiritualities and leave the future to someone else. No religion calls for complete annihilation of a culture. No deity relinquishes his or her power to mere mortals. No definition of heaven includes a ticket that is paid for with the murders of innocents.

How are we living our beliefs? Why are we allowing ego and evil to color in-between the lines of the theories of theology and/or spirituality and practical application? President John F Kennedy once said: “Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.”

My Psalm 50

I hear your call, O Lord:
You remind us of your mighty court.
The world is yours and it serves as our courtroom.
It reflects our disobedience to your laws.
As Moses gave, we have but ten to follow.
You promised help to those that obey and punishment to those that deny.
You ask not for sacrifices of life.
Life is a gift you gave to the world.
Life is the world.
You ask only for sacrifices of thanksgiving.
Gratitude is our gift to you.
How we treat others is how we treat the world.
The Commandments are clear and should be followed.
Woe to them that disobey and ignore your laws.
Sanctity of life is given to those who revere it.
We give thanks to you, O God and celebrate our covenant of life.


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