The Herald & Review is working hard to create meaningful events for all ages, with elements of practicum, whether for political, religious, business, entertainment or social entities. This is in concert with its stated goal of building bridges of understanding, as opposed to "getting even," which tends toward escalation, with the net effect of putting people at loggerheads.

As cases in point, examples have been provided of the work of churches, schools, training in positive law enforcement, "thumbs up" reports on businesses and these for all ages. Outstanding acts of heroism are often cited.

Speaking from a religious standpoint, it is ironic that the teachings of Jesus that should serve to provide bridges of understanding and cooperation are mostly ignored. For example, Jesus taught that we should love and pray for our enemies, return evil with good, and show kindness and helpfulness to people who have been treated cruelly.

One of the clearest proofs pf Jesus' convictions is that, when quoting Isaiah 61:1-2 as he read the scriptures before his hometown people of Nazareth, he refused to read the portion of verse 2, namely "and the day of vengeance of our God."

One of the most unequivocal statements Jesus made was in two short verses of Hebrews 8: "If there had been no flaws in the Old Testament (Covenant), there would have been no need for a new one." This is commensurate with Jeremiah 31:31-34, in which Jeremiah said that the New Covenant "would not be like the old," but would feature forgiveness and a new heart with a law of love moving toward fullness of grace.

In Matthew 18:21-22, Jesus is asked by Peter, "how many times should I forgive my brother, until seven times?" Jesus' answer was "not seven times but 70 times seven." We all need this amazing grace.

James P. McClarey, Decatur


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