Hespeler, 5 November, 2017 © Scott McAndless Remembrance Sunday
Jeremiah 6:10-15, Matthew 10:34-39, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
e call Jesus the Prince of Peace. We love to tell the story about how, when he was born in Bethlehem, the angels sang that an era of peace on earth had dawned. And Jesus was the one who said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God,” wasn’t he? I don’t know about you, but that is one of the key reasons why I am pleased to identify myself as a follower of Jesus. We need peace. The world needs peace. And on a day of Remembrance like this when we remember all of the carnage, all of the death and all of the grief of war, we particularly look for the healing power of peace. Indeed, no one craves peace more than veterans who remember war’s horrors all too well and soldiers on active duty. So I feel blessed indeed to be a follower of the Prince of Peace
But Jesus doesn’t seem to have always remained consistent on the topic of peace. There were days when he seemed to be no fan of it at all: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth;” he warned. “I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” And he further promised that he would stir up trouble between all sorts of people: sons and fathers, daughters and mothers pretty much anyone else in any household.
Is it just me, or is there a certain inconsistency there? Either Jesus came to bring peace on earth or he came to banish it. You can’t have it both ways, but Jesus apparently thinks you can. It is, in fact, one of those contradictions in the Bible that I have wondered about the longest. Except it is not a contradiction – not really – it is more a matter of definition, of people using the same words in wildly varying ways.