In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. (Isaiah 2:2–4, NIV 1984).
My Musings – Until that day, “you will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” (Matthew 24:5–7, NIV 1984). All wars are unfortunate, but some are more “noble” than others, if there is such a thing. Here in America, we just celebrated the anniversary of our Declaration of Independence, which was easier to declare that it was to achieve. Since that time we have fought in many wars. All regrettable, but some necessary only because we still live in a fallen world and all too often we “settle disputes for many peoples” through bloodshed.
Today is another anniversary in my extended family. On this day in 1944, my Dad’s oldest brother paid the ultimate price in one of those “noble” wars to end fascism, or at least we had hoped so. Until recently, we knew none of he details of his death (see my May 3. 2020 blog). In an engagement against superior forces, cut off from allied lines and running out of ammunition “someone ordered us to surrender, probably one of the remaining sergeants, maybe Brewer…Then all hell broke loose. Someone had ordered artillery fire on the town…my next conscious awareness that of lying flat in the middle of the street, shells exploding around me…Someone dragged Earl Brewer next to me. The shell which has hit me in the legs and one arm had torn his chest open. My friend and sergeant looked up at me pleadingly…He tried to say something, then his eyes rolled back and he died…I have thought of Earl many times in recent years. We shared the most significant, traumatic month of our lives, enduring countless artillery barrages, struggling against the sheer misery of life on the battlefield, and then our final battle, the artillery falling among us. Earl and I were side by side until that fateful instant in which the shards of steel hit me in the leg and Earl in the chest. Just like that, I to survive the Great Adevnture and live a long and productive life, Earl to die.” (“Making Sense of Normandy, by E. Carver McGriff, 2007).
My Advice – The cost of freedom and peace has been high, but the cost of our redemption was even higher. In this life, freedom is fragile and peace is not permanent. We must not forget those who gave their all, but none gave more that God who sent His Son to die so that we may have peace with God.