Hundreds of millions of people around the world will celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with their families this week.
Many are practicing Christians who attend church regularly. Many are folks who do not really believe in most of the Christian dogmas but are still committed, at least in a general way, to Christian values and ethics concerning such issues as economic fairness, the pursuit of world peace, and concern for the unfortunate. Many of these folks do not go to church very often other than perhaps Christmas Eve and Easter.
Many others see Christmas as a time for meaningful get-togethers with families and friends, but they have little interest one way or another in anything resembling Christian practice or Christian values.
One thing all of these folks have in common is this.
They don’t tend to think very often about the fact that we all live under the threat that someday nuclear weapons will be used on a limited scale or in a wide scale nuclear war.
America, England, France, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and probably Israel all have atomic bombs much stronger than the ones that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Someday Iran or some other countries will also decide they cannot live without these weapons.
The great scares of the Cold Wars are behind us. But the nuclear demons continue to invade our repose on an increasingly frequent and increasingly disturbing basis as we think about the deeply unstable North Korean regime rattling their nuclear sword, or the protracted battles to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.
What can we do to dismantle all the world’s nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction?
In America many who attend Christian churches most regularly are among the most conservative regarding political views. They would be the least likely to agree to a plan for America to simply dismantle all of our nuclear weapons. Many others who go to church once in a while and who volunteer time and money to good causes might also be very quick to stop short of saying, “Yes, it is Ok to dismantle all our nuclear weapons.”
If Christians in America are not willing to lead the way towards nuclear disarmament, who will?
What would Jesus say?
Would he say, “Yes, nuclear weapons are unfortunate but necessary so sure let’s keep them armed and aimed at our enemies.”
Would he say, “Sure, the needs of the poor and the invalids are not as important as maintaining the largest military and spy budgets in the world, so by all means let’s keep spending hundreds of billions of dollars on defense and spy satellites?”
This Christmas when you behold the manger and the infant, when you behold the children’s Christmas pageant, when you light the candle of the person next to you in the Christmas Eve service, please give some thought to this matter.
Is it time for America and American Christians to lead the way by saying, “Yes, my faith is sufficient that I can live without nuclear weapons? Yes, if we don’t find a way to rid the world of nucelar weapons it is only a matter of time before some terrorist group or some nation uses nuclear weapons somewhere in the world”.
This year let the Candlelight service and the Children’s pageant be a time to meditate upon the reality of nuclear weapons and the need to free the world from the very real threat of nuclear bombs.
Who knows maybe even peace will break out in Jerusalem and Palestine. Anything is possible. Maybe even Jews, Christians, and Muslims can find a way to make peace in the Middle East. After all, all three of them claim to be religions dedicated to peace.
What do you think about Christmas Eve and nuclear weapons and your faith? Please let me know.
All constructive comments will be posted.
Will Raymond Author of “The Simple Path of Holiness” and host of MeditationPractice.com