Rejecting Evil

 Do not quench the Spirit.  Do not treat prophecies with contempt, but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil                                                                                                                                      I Thessalonians 5:19-22 

Earlier this month, on May 8, we commemorated an event that had happened 75 years ago. That was a celebration called VE Day. I trust that we still look with pride and appreciation on this day, because it was the celebration of victory in Europe in World War II. The celebration was especially exuberant, because war had been raging in Europe since September 1, 1939. The world had endured nearly 6 years of bombings, invasions, privations and mass killings. Every country in Europe was affected by this terrible war, especially Poland and Russia, and, of course Germany itself. The British people suffered nightly air raids which virtually destroyed several cities and killed thousands of civilians. Europe’s Jews, of course were persecuted and murdered in the most detestable and ghastly ways. In short, evil had overtaken the continent.

World War II cost millions of lives all around the globe. It destroyed communities, economies and cultures. It cost billions of dollars and untold mental and emotional distress.

Nazi evil was defeated, but not destroyed. There are remnants to this day of evil perpetuated by the ideas of racial superiority and hatred. Such ideas are evil, and there is a cost for combating them. We must recognize them for what they are, and not be complicit in accepting them. Evil can appear in ways that look innocuous and even enticing. We need to always be aware of the insidious creep of evil.

The Bible verse quoted today is from I Thessalonians chapter 5 where we are encouraged to allow the Spirit to guide our thoughts, and to hold on to what is good, and reject evil.

Today, we still have evil in the world- usually a lot more subtle than Hitler’s outright genocidal mania, but evil nonetheless.  Our collective response 75+ years ago was to combat it at high cost.

“…hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.”

Prayer: Help us to discern evil, to reject its poison, and deliver us from its presence, Amen.

 

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