The Final Solution

Yesterday there was a ceremony commemorating the liberation of Auschwitz. A small number of aged survivors sat in the bone chilling cold of a Polish winter to honor the memory of millions who died at the hand of Fascist tyranny. The fanatical madness of believers in the superiority of a single race has left behind the haunting monuments of broken brick ovens and rusted barbed wire as well as the awful legacy of a hatred that attempted to erase the Israelites from the face of the earth.

Some survivors remembered a bar used by the SS to cull the smallest and the weakest from the crowd as they entered the camp. Just over three feet from the ground, it marked the littlest children for immediate death as they would prove useless as laborers. Some children, sensing it meant separation from their mothers, stretched their little necks trying to touch the bar in vain.

Sixty years later the world is still at war. The barbed wire of bad ideas still divide us into concentration camps of fanatical ideologies. Bomb factories are still busy, and the lonely weeping train whistle of intolerance still cries out in the distance. Fatalists have become all too accustomed to the gallows of their latest "final solution," or latest fashion in suicide bomb belts. Pessimists give up, and sink down in the quagmire of complex political quandaries weighted with the heavy chains of desperation. Pragmatists throw dice for left-over garments or oil wells at the foot of the cross. Optimists, however, still believe that there is hope for the Ghettos of the disenfranchised and in the innate goodness of man, or the dawn of a resurrection.

Over the iron gate of Auschwitz were the words "Arbeit Macht Frei" (work makes one free). It was a cruel hoax. The work was hard and did not lead to freedom. Satan is still the evil Commandant who would force men to labor in his munitions factories to build the weapons of their own destruction. The holocaust was only a reflection of the hate-filled heart of men. Hate not only begets more hate, it incinerates the heart and soul of those possessed by it. Jesus Christ had another "final solution." He would not hate His enemies, but love them. He would not kill them, but die for them. Every man-made religion believes they have a "work" to do that will make man free, and it is a lie. Only one work, and that done by Christ Himself will open the gates.

No one without love is free. To hate a single soul is to be incarcerated. It is to be in chains or to be condemned to guard the prison of some imagined grievance, or stand as a lonely sentinel at the gates of a self constructed concentration camp in your mind. No one is tall enough to reach the bar of Godís law and righteousness or escape the consequences of our own failed "solutions." But there is grace. Grace is Godís good come down, and as a footstool for faith, made in the shape of a cross, saves us from ourselves.