“Blessed are the peacemakers,” said Jesus.
And Jesus, by the way, is “The Prince of Peace,” not “The Prince of War and Violence.”
But justice doesn’t entail revenge. Justice doesn’t entail torture, or strapping even the most revolting killer on a gurney in the shape of a cross and killing him with toxic drugs, or bombing enemies back to the Stone Age and letting God “sort em out.”
That’s not the peace of Jesus we find in the gospels, although you wouldn’t know it to hear so many puffed up, self-appointed, or media-appointed American “Christian leaders” making so much noise in the political arena.
(Who elected all these Christian “leaders” who get so much face time on the news? I didn’t vote for them and they certainly don’t speak for me and I, for one, am not about to follow their lead in politics or anything else.)
Retribution/revenge is not the peace of Jesus in the gospels and it’s not the peace of the Apostolic Christians (i.e., Peter, Paul and all the leaders of the Christian “Way” who developed the church).
We bring peace to everyone around us when we have peace in our hearts, thereby bringing much-needed peace into this broken and violent world of broken and violent hearted people (and that includes you and me), all in need of the healing powers of God’s love, extravagant grace and tender mercies.
Of all the people who want peace and justice to prevail in our country and the world, we can and should be carrying the torch for peace, not the torch of violence.
As we say in my church, “Let’s now pass the peace.”