Put Down Your Gun Peter-Jesus

Recently I have seen interesting posts by individuals claiming that gun ownership is condoned by Jesus. They reference Luke 22:36 where Jesus says, “And one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one.” (NRSV) I am aggrieved to see that pro-gun advocates have claimed scripture in this manner without first having studied the context of the scripture and secondly understanding the principal foundation of Jesus’ teachings.
Following in verse 38 the disciples responded to Christ with an enthusiastic “here are two swords.” Now, for some this is encouraging, but Jesus threw the proverbial cold water on it by saying “It is enough.”

Is that a war cry? Will they not need more if they are going to bring down the government? No, this is Jesus’ way of saying to the disciples, you do not understand.

In between vs. 36 and 38, Christ tells the disciples once again that the Old Testament scripture will be fulfilled as he becomes the suffering servant, “For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me, ‘And he was counted among the lawless.” The disciples do not comprehend what he means nor will they until he is crucified. What is left to say to children who are bent on fighting and weapons other than, “It is enough.” The conversation was over and time to move on to the Mount of Olives.

Claiming that vs. 36 is a call for Christians to own guns is a mistaken interpretation. The writer of Luke was not calling Christians to arms and it should be noted that this conversation is not supported by the other Gospels. Instead the author was showing the disciples ignorance in understanding Christ’s purpose.

Now, I may be a simple theologian, however, I do not stand alone in this interruption. John Calvin in his Commentaries, on a Harmony of the Evangelists, said that this was Christ using “metaphorical language,” to help the disciples understand that they will “soon meet with great troubles and fierce attacks.” Calvin further states that Christ is not calling them to physical battles but spirituals ones, “He [Christ] does not call them to an outward conflict… [but to] the fierce attacks which they must sustain in spiritual contests.” Just as the conflict is spiritual so are the swords Christ is referring to in verse 36.

Today, as the gun battle continues I call Christians to follow Christ and fulfill his command to Peter, to put down your gun (my interpretation). Pistols, automatic weapons, multiple magazines, instruments of mass death are not needed in the hands of Christians but instead we need the peace and love of Christ abounding in our words and actions. Let us not represent our faith by being deeply entrenched in the machinery of war and murder; let us not defame Christ’s message of love and peace or disregard his call to love our neighbor. Instead of cold steel, let our hands reach out with love. Instead of reactionary reptilian thought, let our spirit be filled with grace. Instead of killing our neighbor let us show the world that Christians strive to exemplify Christ’s peace now and forever.

Amen

Thin Nite

Tonite is one of those evenings when the veil that is between the worlds seems translucent. As the sky streaks with pinks, reds, mauves, lavenders, greys and dark blues a thin whisp of a moon shines down.   This is a nite where the stars seem to come down from the heavens to blink and dance above the corn fields with green and yellow flashes.  Where the robin chorus echoed all day gives way to the evening symphony of crickets, frogs, and that particular sound of complete stillness that only can be heard when the breeze abdicates its control. This is a nite when you can practically taste the air: the moist scent of saturated black, loam; the sweet suttle scent of young corn stalks.  All of this plays together to facilitate the spirits recognition of the deeper, further, upwards, beyond, eternal. 

Good nite. 

Spring Snow Melt

Spring snow grips the trees

White and glistening where there should be leaves

But on this day we are told to wait

For spring is momentarily late

 

All around the grass is green

The snow on it seems so mean

For the calendar says winter should go

Can anything push out this cold?

 

Soon it will be July

With its temperatures soaring high

We will say then would it not be nice

To feel snow and the ice

 

Live in the moment the here and now

Enjoy what is here before it takes a bow

Life is rich each and every day

Take the journey and walk the way.

 

Beginning Days

The first of days are fresh and cold
A winters morning with unsure footing
You look to see crystals in the air
New wonders everywhere

As days go by the light changes so
Warmth radiates and grasses grow
These are the days of settling enjoyment
And new seeds springing to new life

Basking glories amount to suns abundant life
Days of stretching and trying old ideas a new
Letting each one grow and ripen
In the warmth and humidity of matured expectation

Crisp and cool ideas with a sense of promise
Possibility assured by experience lived
Comfort found in a sense of timing
These are the seeds for the first day

Where I come from

I am from a place where when you step outside at night you can see the Milky Way.
I am from a place where the only sound on a cold winter night is the snow falling on the pine trees.
I am from place where at times the nearest person to me is a mile away.
I am from a place where my ancestors stood and knew the same.
I am from a place where people come and find solace for their souls.
I am from a place where you can rejoice and give thanks for such a place.
I am from a place where you continually discover something new.

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Settled Waters

Great settled waters of land ancient past.
Flowing but not leaving, eternal yet endangered.
Great waters that spread across this land, know your own beauty and call us to amend.
Great settled waters not disappearing by ebb and flow.
Dark and beautiful blues of fresh springing waters we know.
Let us be mindful that you were here before us.
Great waters that spread across this land, know your own beauty and call is to amend.

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The Rudder

Yes, there are many things that we use as the so-called rudder in our lives.

God, parents, ethics, ideals, sport teams, jobs, education, shows; if you were to ask the world “what is your rudder?” I imagine that the list would potentially be endless.

The importance of a rudder in life is never more apparent until it is gone. Once missing, it is hard to get a hold of not where so much you are going but what in life is so important that you need to head in that direction.

Alas, you cannot go to ACE or Lowes and buy a rudder. You can try fashioning one out of wood but that would work as well as wet cardboard. The only way to re-establish a rudder sometimes is growing it of your own self.

Now, that is hard, nearly as hard as growing a third arm. However, there is something about recognizing the need of a rudder and perhaps that can be said is the beginning of wisdom.