Summary: Part 1 of a new series
Peace starts with me, Live @ Peace series
Eric A. Snyder, Minister, Farwell Church of Christ
April 7, 2002
A Lawyer was duck hunting in Montana recently, when he attempted to cross a fence into a field to retrieve a duck he had shot. A farmer suddenly pulled up in his pickup truck, jumped out, and asked what he was doing on his property. "Retrieving this duck that I just shot," he replied.
"That duck is on my side of the fence, so now it’s mine," replied the farmer.
The Lawyer said “don’t you know who you’re talking to?”
"No, "replied the farmer, "I don’t know, and I don’t care."
"I am a famous lawyer" . And if you don’t let me get that duck, I can sue you for your farm, your truck, and everything else you own. I’ll leave you penniless on the street."
"Well," said the farmer, "in Montana the only law we go by is the ’3 kicks law.’"
"Never heard of it,"
The farmer said, "I get to kick you 3 times, and if you make it back to your feet and are able to kick me back 3 times, that duck is yours.." .
He thought this over. He grew up in a tough neighborhood and figured he could take this farmer. "Fair enough," he said. So the farmer kicked him in the shin. As he was doubling over, the farmer kicked him in the face, and when he hit the ground, he kicked him hard in the ribs. After several moments, he slowly made it back to his feet. "All right, now it’s my turn,"
"oh that’s all right ," said the farmer. "You can have the duck."
We live in a world that seems like it is always at war with someone. In fact the word “war” is regularly used in out society. As people we are intrigued with conflict and fights. I can remember when I was younger my parents took me to a college football game. These two drunk Guys started causing a scene and my mother stood up and screamed “fight”!
We learn early on that fighting is interesting and entertaining.
We love to see 2 people duke it out. Most of my favorite movies are about fights, conflicts one side against the other. Have you ever stopped to think about how radical the idea of peace is?
I loved Rocky, Air force 1, Die hard, and the star wars flicks. Those were all fictional stories where you cheer for the star. But in our society we have even moved beyond fictional fights, Our attention is all over anything that might have some kind of struggle. We watch as the day time talk shows parade people in front of us and we secretly yearn for a violent confrontation.
Even late night Neilson ratings dub the comedy shows as “the war of Late night television”
A recent movie called “Gladiator” depicts our drive for conflict. The movie is centered around a gladiator in roman times who is forced to fight in an arena for the amusement of others. After he has finished fighting against unrealistic odds he gives us the line that echoes through the hollow core of our empty hearts “Are you not entertained?”.
There is an interesting irony that exists between entertainment and reality. Most of us long for a day when all in the world would be peaceful. A day where we are not worried about rogue nations building nuclear weapons. A day where our children were not asked to go to war. Or a day when we don’t watch innocent people hurting and mistreated on the news.
The world has gotten older, but humanity has not grown up, Technology has advanced but we still have the same nature. And though we wait for a day of peace. Jesus said that day will not come until the kingdom of God is completely here.
Fighting has been popular for a long time. Ever since sin entered the world there has been the potential for war. Cain when he killed his brother was the first written example of a fight and murder was recorded in the Bible.
And much like that occasion, when we fail to do right in God’s eyes we unleash a plethora of evil possibilities.
Jesus was a peacemaker. He said if someone hits you on your face give them another chance to do it again. He was a man who was powerful and expressed his rage but never once did we see it come out in the form of fighting. In fact when they were in the garden and the men came to arrest Jesus, Peter drew a sword and started slicing. And when he cut a guard’s ear off Jesus picked it up and put it back on. And he said to Peter: violent people die violent deaths.