A Call for Peace and Prayer This Memorial Day
Hebrews 12: 14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
This Memorial Day we stop as always to honor those brave men and women who have sacrificed the most in our nation. Those who selflessly laid down their lives for this nation and the freedom it represents. They should be honored. Their sacrifice is very real. But while they enlist to serve that does not mean that they must fight. Because we have a military does not mean it must be at war. My concern this Memorial Day is that while we honor these brave servants as citizens, we also remember as Christians; that God calls for us to live at peace.
The key verse today reminds us what God demands of us. We are to make every effort to live in peace with everyone. It is interesting to see that God compares peace with holiness in this verse. It is interesting because so often it appears that western Christianity embraces war far too easily. But James teaches us:
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3: 17-18 (NLT)
Once again comparing peacefulness to purity and righteousness. I can almost hear the pro-war crowd objecting but what about Ecclesiastes! Yes, it is true that this verse appears in Ecclesiastes:
A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace. - Ecclesiastes 3: 8 (NLT)
This verse is not God approving war. It is God accepting the depravity of man. God understands that there will be a time for everything under heaven. Because of the sin-state man is born into, there will be a time of war but that does not mean God condones it or seeks it. Just look at the beginning of this verse! Does God condone hate then as well? Does God approve of hate? Within the context of the verse itself, the pro war argument is lost.