"The Internationale" (French: L'Internationale) is a left-wing anthem. It has been a standard of the socialist movement since the late 19th century, when the Second International (now the Socialist International) adopted it as its official anthem…
It was an adrenaline-pumping song… like the endorphins kicking in after a good run… something sung to propel you onward in the fight for equality and justice, bleeding with the down-trodden, arm-in-arm with the working masses of the world… down with the bourgeoisie! workers of the world unite! “The Internationale will be the human race”!
I guess you had to be there. It was heady stuff.
Truth be told, if it were not for the reality of Christianity and the specificity of its call, I might still be drawn to fighting injustice and racial inequality, exposing the cynical and nauseating reality of an ever widening chasm between the haves and the have-nots. From the first stanza of the song:
Freedom is merely privilege extended
But yes, we were worse than naive. We were wrong to hope in a movement that was only symbolically on the side of the common man. We were clueless about the utter inhumanity that the movement shrouded… idiots to overlook the ‘Josef Stalins’ of the world and the unconscionable actions of their soulless lackeys. How can you be anti-God and expect good to come of it?
For all of that, I’m glad that I held out for a cause worth getting inspired about: one that would be international in reach, spawn genuine hope, bind people together… arm-in-arm under one banner, from every corner of the planet.
It is self-evident that as a species, mankind shares a commonality deeper than what we appreciate. It begins with our origin, fragility, mortality, spiritual condition, insecurity, and the need to derive some transcending meaning from it all. We still fail miserably at rallying around these shared characteristics for our mutual advantage. We are much better at making life more miserable and dangerous for one another.
It is equally self-evident that any possible solution for our ills could not come from within any particular human or set of humans. Humans imposing their own idea of a solution on other humans? Short-sighted… presumptuous… dangerous.
It would have to derive from a higher source. It would have to address all of the problems held in common by all of mankind. It would have to be powerful enough to overcome the vicissitudes of human governments and political struggles… intransigent enough to stay the course in the midst of hostile social mores… unflappable enough to shrug off an insidious, corrupting syncretism with the unholy… enduring enough to be accessible to all generations... divine enough to carry over into the afterlife.
There is one story that covers it all. Amazing, isn’t it?
"For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross." (Colossians 1:19-20)
Everything that is lacking can be found in a person: the Lord Jesus Christ. He is our liberator from every form of oppression… the righter of all wrongs… the equalizer of all unfairnesses… our hope of restitution… our door to heaven… our rallying song.
Could there be anything more inspiring? In God’s presence, no one will suffer because others prosper… no marginalized people, no savages dressed up as drug lords, no sinking boatloads of desperate refugees, no chlorine gas bombs, no mass graves, no calloused leaders turning a blind eye.
Get used to identifying with a movement that is international in scope, free of the markers that we define people groups by today. Arm-in-arm, under the banner of the cross, marching on with the Gospel message… a formidable force!
And won’t we be a sight to see: in sinless perfection, in perfect unity, harmony and joy, around the throne of the King, forever and ever…?
Marching on, marching on,
Now that could be our “L’Internacionale”…