Our Nation is reeling from the events of recent days. While some, unfortunately are taking advantage of communities, looting, burning, robbing, etc., many more are calling for calm while they lift their voices in a cry for justice. The families of those who have been treated unjustly are calling for “peaceful protest.” They are not, however, asking for resignation or passivity. They want justice.
Peace is defined as, “freedom from disturbance, quiet and tranquility.” But the scripture also places us on notice that Jesus did not come to bring “peace,” as we have commonly come to define it, but a sword.
The above verses were spoken in the context of Jesus’ dialogue with his disciples about taking up their cross and following Him. Jesus was letting His disciples know that those who follow Him, those who speak truth and stand for justice, those who live and preach righteousness , those who take up their cross daily and follow Him will find themselves at odds with the world. Unfortunately, in the name of “peace,” people avoid addressing issues. They leave words unspoken. They allow wrong to persist. In the name of peace, people look the other way from sin. In the name of “peace,” people hide feelings, silence justifiable complaints, and want to shew away protestors…all in the name of “peace.”
We must be careful how we view and press for “peace.” Godly peace does not ignore injustices. Godly peace confronts, in truth and in love. Godly peace does not look the other way when people are hurting, when people are hungry, when people are marginalized, when people are treated less than human. Godly peace stands in the gap…speaks truth to power…does what it can to lift heavy burdens.
God is the God of the oppressed. The Lord rebuked Israel for having false religion…false peace. Amos 5: 21-24 declares,
21I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. 22Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. 23Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. 24But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.What kind of peace are you looking for? Behaving as if nothing is wrong? Behaving as if everything is ok? Behaving as if nothing is happening? As you walk by your brother or sister on the road and see them perishing? As you stand back and allow excessive force and police brutality? As you allow unfair labor practices among multi-billion dollar enterprises, refusing to pay workers a living wage and provide any form of benefits?
What kind of peace do you want? For the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer? For Countries to rape and rob the land of other poorer countries, experiment on the vulnerable and leave them war torn, diseased and filled with famine? This is not peace – godly peace!
May we seek godly peace and pursue it.
I leave with you a song from yesteryears, by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes…
Wake Up Everybody
Post a comment or send me an email at Shepastor1@hotmail.com
Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,