War has been on my mind lately.
A couple weeks ago, my wife and I went to the National WWI museum here in Kansas City. It’s the only museum in the US devoted completely to that war and it shows with a plethora (haha) of artifacts from that time period. There is so much to do and see, it would take practically 2 days to try and catch it all (and with 2 days, there were still things left unread and unseen). The striking thing about the museum is that they did a wonderful job of getting you back into that era. You feel the wrestling of the European powers as their plans for peace start to crumble, the gritty life of trench warfare, the anguish of those at home…it’s all there. And at the end of the exhibit, a video on a small screen plays out a quick summary of the aftermath of that war. As a montage of tanks, helicopters, and troops through the ages play out, the narrator asks, “Will their ever be peace?”
It’s a poignant question. A cynic would say, “Never.”
I also just finished reading a book called A Canticle for Leibowitz. It’s a complex book, but basically takes place after the world enacts a nuclear holocaust on itself and sends mankind back to the dark ages. Three sections span centuries and eventually man pulls himself back up to the point of a futuristic civilization. But still war looms over them and the same threats of nuclear violence are brought up again. The question that comes up is, “Will man really doom himself again to the same fate as before?”
The question of (and the quest for) peace is an interesting one. Undoubtedly all of humanity is looking for peace, whether personal, regional, national, or international. But the striking irony is that no matter how close we get to peace, we always seem to be the ones undoing it. Can’t blame natural disasters here. We seem to be the root of our own problem.
This is confirmed in the Bible, of course. And through the Bible, God gives us the path to true peace. Paul mentions in Romans 5:1 that, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Peace with God? How? Through Jesus Christ. But how will ultimate peace be attained? When will peace for the whole world be seen? Jesus foretold that there would be “wars and rumors of wars” among other things before final peace would be ushered in by His return (see Matthew 24). Until that time, the world will continue toiling beneath man’s sin and consequences. But until that time, will you know true peace with God through Jesus Christ?