It’s Remembrance Day. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of each year we stop everything we are doing and we remember. We even have a symbol, the poppy, which is meant to help us to remember.
We remember those who have fought and often died at war for the sake of peace in their countries.
We remember war itself and all of its ramifications.
As we take the time to remember, we might find ourselves being thankful for our freedom.
We might be wondering about where war comes from and why there continues to be so many wars all over the world.
We could find ourselves wondering about soldiers, and their families, who fought and possibly even died with conviction for their countries that were on the ‘other side’.
We might ask ourselves if war is necessary or can conflict be resolved in different, less violent, more peaceful ways?
I honestly don’t know the answers to these questions that run through my head every year at this time. I sadly do know however that on social media outlets at least, it’s a season of much more fighting and unrest than usual as people often angrily share their very strong opinions about what people should and should not do and say at this time of year. It doesn’t make a ton of sense to me to start or engage in a fight with someone during a season meant to help us remember the horrors of war.
I also know that peace, ‘shalom’, is a dominant theme in the life of Jesus.
There were many occasions where He could have commandeered an army and destroyed His enemies with unprecedented military force. He could have faced those who were against Him with might and overcome them with violence. He could have made anyone who opposed Him simply disappear, never to be heard from again.
But He didn’t.
He chose a different way.
He chose to turn the other cheek.
He chose love and not hate.
He chose forgiveness and not revenge.
He chose peace and not war.
I believe that I am a participant in a war against injustice. I’m also trying to take ‘the Jesus way’ the best way I know how.
So as best I know how, my weapons in this war are not guns and tanks and bombs.
They hopefully are:
And yes, Peace.
I am far from perfect in this. But I’ll keep trying to get better at it.