The United States spends more than $500 billion a year fighting crime. That figure includes money we spend for police, the court system, and the prison complex. We spend billions more on alarms and guns to protect ourselves from criminals. Despite those protective efforts, 640,000 crimes with guns are committed each year. Besides crime, no one knows how much hate goes into lawsuits to punish, divorces, racism, and other forms of conflict, both locally and globally. All this animosity stems from one simple fact—we cannot get along with each other. What a shame. It’s our inability to love God with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength, and to love others as we love ourselves. Such horrible behavior is why God needed to send His Son into our world. He came to make it possible for us to be reconciled–first with God and then with each other. When John the Baptist appeared, he urged people to turn from their self-centered and unjust ways. He said, “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.” Then he identified practical ways people could show repentance. He urged them to share from their surplus to help the poor, and treat others with justice and kindness. Today, those of us who have by faith accepted Jesus Christ as God’s Ruler are to be examples in this dark world.