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The Good Life 3, Peace

May 26, 2018

The American nation was founded in the search for peace. A revolution to provide peace? Surely I jest! In 1775 Patrick Henry addressed a Virginia convention, hoping to fund a militia. “Peace! Peace! There is no peace. The war is actually begun. The next gale that sweeps from the North will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms. I know not what course others may choose, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.” Inspired by these fiery words, Virginia armed the militia and went to war. Nations ignore the virtues of peace to secure the virtues of liberty, or to simply defend themselves. Peace is expensive.

Memorial Day, formerly Veterans Day, means remember the cost of peace. What is worth fighting for? Civil wars flare up as people within the same nation hold opposing ideas and can’t decide a solution. Was our Civil War fought to preserve the Union, preserve states’ rights, or free the slaves? Motives for war are not always clear, and the resentment of the loser is not cured by a treaty.

Some have already made the ultimate sacrifice. On Memorial Day cemeteries are dotted with flags and flowers. We remember the dead warriors. Our leaders are apt to say, “You and he must fight.” That’s an easier path than negotiating a peace.

We are easily offended and impulsive. The peace of God, which passes understanding, does not guide our actions. 700 years before Christ was born, Isaiah predicted a child would come who would be called the Prince of Peace. Jews and Gentile would be brought together in peace. His eyes had “seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

Jesus urged us to reconcile with our brothers. “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” (Matthew 1: 9) Loving those with whom we disagree seems a hopeless task. Remember, Judas betrayed Jesus. Jesus may have been disappointed with Judas, but he did not try to dissuade him. Then Judas destroyed himself. This was not a coincidence.

The world needs to remember that the cost of war is evident in the cemetery. The Bible confirms that when we do not act in love, we disturb the peace. God bless us, everyone!

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