February 15, 2018
"Then one who stood near drew his sword and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, Put your sword back in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword." -Matthew 26: 51-52
Today, I dedicate this meditation to the parents and students in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Security expert Joel Leffler, who had a daughter at that school, was on a business trip in Dallas. When he finally reached his 14 year-old daughter on the phone, "She was whispering, hiding", he said. She’s 14 years old and she had to look at multiple dead bodies. "You never think it will happen to you," he said.
Jesus teaches us that it just might happen to us. When he was arrested by the chief priests, one of his faithful disciples grabbed a sword and cut off the ear of a slave. Jesus told him, "All who take the sword will perish by the sword." Our nation has chosen to take and carry the sword as a matter of course. We tell ourselves that our everyday, dangerous lives requires it. We believe we are protecting our safety.
We are not. The swords of all times and places are dangerous. They are a piece of danger. That piece of danger can fall into the hands of a person intent in making its danger a reality. Do we want to be safe? Do we want to be free? We must "put our sword back in its place." Leave those swords behind. Only then, will we be free.