Consider this: It is Remembrance Day. In the country town I am in the clock strikes 11am. From the local RSL I hear the bugle sound. It reminds me of the sacrifices made during WWI and the price paid for our present lifestyle.
The next noise I hear is the distant loud speaker of the local shopping mall proclaiming the good news of “25% off everything in store.” The contrast between sacrifice and consumerism was deafening in my mind. On the one hand, the sacrifices saw the death of 16 million people and promised to be a war to end all wars (a phrase first coined by H. G. Wells). On the other hand, consumerism’s battle is for the dollar. It marches victorious over our hearts. It shapes our hopes and dreams for the future.
Over the past 100 years have we moved from a period of sacrifice to hedonism? Does the call of 25% off resound louder today than the bugle reminding us of a by-gone concept? Part of me thinks that our hearts have not changed but the times around us have. The battle for the core of our being has always been fierce.
The fog of war
Among the fog of this battle, I am searching to see Jesus’ message. Here is an attempt: The war to end all wars neglects the fact that the problem is not war or consumerism but the human heart. We do not need a war to end other wars or a 25% off sale to bring us peace. We need a heart change.
That is what Jesus has and will achieve. His death on the cross ends the battle we wage against God forever. He is the completion of the concept of peace: a Peace to end all peaces. He has secured a peace far beyond any fickle Armistice agreement. A 25% stocktake sale is no comparison. He truly can proclaim a victory of “The war to end all wars.”
Jeremy Dover is a former sports scientist and Pastor
Jeremy Dover's previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jeremy-dover1.html