The Pastor's Peace - June, 2018
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In the past few weeks we have heard a great deal about the peace process involving North Korea. Politics aside, many are hoping that something does come out of all this that creates lasting peace on the Korean peninsula. Even though active fighting ended in 1953, there has been an armistice and not a peace treaty since then, meaning that North and South Korea have technically been at war for almost 68 years. I can’t even imagine what it is like to live in Seoul and have an active hostile military force present less than the distance from Cincinnati to Dayton. Things are quite difficult for most in North Korea as well, which begs the question: Why has it been this way for 68 years?

The simple answer most would point to is the fact that North Korea has been ruled by dictators during that time period, but surely even for them a more prosperous North Korea would be a benefit. Or would it be? I think this is the challenge to peace. We feel as if we often have to give something up to achieve it. For many, what we have to give up does not seem to outweigh the benefit of peace. Perhaps we don’t value peace as much as we should. It is something that Jesus spoke of many times, and he is even called the Prince of Peace. In the world of conflict and war that he lived in, such dedication to peace would have seemed strange. The idea of turning the other cheek, or feeding your enemy is hard to accept now, let alone then.

Was Jesus out of touch with reality? I think rather that Jesus was in touch with a different reality than we are. To Jesus, the most important things were life and love, love of God and love of each other. To Jesus, things such as possessions, land, pride, being right, power, wealth, dominance, and even personal safety were of little importance in comparison. Our issue with peace and the difficulty in achieving it is wrapped up in placing value on all of these things that Jesus did not. Being a Christian is not easy; Christ calls us all to many things and calls us to carry a cross of sacrifice as well. This idea of prioritizing life and love above all else is perhaps one of the more challenging things we are called to do, whether we realize it or not.

I hope and pray that the peace process currently unfolding does lead to a lasting peace. I pray this for every life on the Korean peninsula, and for all of our servicemen and servicewomen constantly in harms way involved in this conflict. May Christ’s priorities reign and not the priorities of man, and may we have peace at last.

Peace and Blessings,
Pastor Brian