Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Peace devotion: All It Takes - 1 Peter 3:11

1 Peter 3:11    He must turn away from wickedness and instead do good; he must be a peace seeker and constantly practice it. (JSV)

I recently read that in order to eradicate poverty across the planet, it would cost about $125 billion per year. It sounds like an immense cost, but then I read the next line: the world spends $1738 billion each year on war. In other words, we could eradicate poverty for ten years with what we spend on fighting one another in any twelve months. It made me think that if ever there was a Universe award for Stupid Species across the Cosmos, it would surely go to humankind each year.

What we do to one another is monstrous and it may be that we will eventually destroy ourselves completely because of our stubborn, prejudicial, and belligerent ways. This year sees the centennial anniversary of World War 1, which used to be called “The Great War” because it was thought to be the war to end all wars. Sadly, within a generation, World War 2 occurred, proving to God and the rest of the universe how foolishly bellicose we really are.

As human beings, we have the potential, as well as the resources, to rid our planet of the scourge of poverty. Instead, we sinfully waste and squander our opportunities by enslaving or slaying one another. We have the ability to conquer many diseases, as well as to feed, clothe, and educate every person on this planet, but we throw it all away on war.

As Christians, we should be at the forefront of seeking and making peace across the planet because we call our leader the ‘Prince of Peace.’ Sadly, we are just as bellicose inside and outside of the church, following our own heresies of pride, prejudice, and protagonism, on both sides of the theological spectrum, creating our own little wars which shamefully divide the Church and diminish Christ’s work in the world.

One day, Jesus will return and, as the old song states, we will study war no more. However, between now and then, we should prepare His way among us by practicing His way between us. Otherwise, we are just wasting our God given talents and squandering our sacred resources.

Questions for personal reflection

How do I seek and practice peace in my life? How does this shape my Christian beliefs?

Prayer:            Lord Jesus, sometimes we are hopeless when it comes to being peace seekers in our homes, churches, and communities. We let pride painfully separate us from our loved ones. We allow prejudice to contaminate our souls. We allow belligerence to dictate how we express our faith. Forgive us, Lord, for being peace breakers instead of peace seekers. Challenge our sinful ways so that we may truly cherish You as the Prince of Peace. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message or ask some questions, please send him an email to traqair@aol.com.

Today’s image is one of John’s latest Pentecost drawings. It’s called ‘Promised One.’ If you would like to view a larger version, please click on the following link: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7441/14146360152_17b1a0693a_b.jpg

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