The Ides of March.
March 15 is the date on which Julius Caesar was assassinated by Brutus and his co-conspirators. I’m pretty sure it’s etymologically appropriate to call Caesar’s stabbing a brutal event. It seems to me that politics hasn’t actually gotten much prettier as history has progressed.
What disturbs me isn’t so much the ugliness and deadliness of politics in Washington or London or Pyongyang. What disturbs me is the ugliness and deadliness of politics in our churches. It disturbs me because I was under the impression that “Love each other as I have loved you” was supposed to be our guiding principle. I don’t feel like backstabbing and rumor-mongering and triangulating are exercises in agape, unconditional love.
But that’s what we see at all levels of church life, from our global structures all the way down to local church Sunday School. And we come at it with the best intentions, thinking we’re doing good, acting by some Machiavellian conception of the ends justifying the means we use to accomplish them.
That’s just not how we’re called to be.
I apologize for those times when I’m less than loving. I know I can get ugly sometimes. I don’t want to be. I want to just be loving. I need to be more careful about that.
So maybe this Friday, on the Ides of March, we can commemorate Caesar’s assassination by calling quits on the violence we do to each other, at least in the church. Maybe if we can do that here, we’ll be able to replicate it in the rest of our lives, too.
I bet that’s a behavior God can use.