Advent – Part 3: Peace on Earth, and machine guns for all?

Peace on earth, and machine guns for all?

When I first saw the article on NPR I was angry. A gun club in Arizona was offering pictures of your children with Santa Claus and a host of weapons. My gut reaction was that this was some sort of blasphemy to put a culture and climate of war and weaponry into what is supposed to be a season of peace and goodwill to all humankind.

To involve machine guns and Santa in a celebration in the birth of Jesus Christ is the worst kind of heresy I can imagine.

Arizona state Rep. Steve Farley

So I’m right there with Rep. Farley on this. Until… I stepped back and looked at his statement a little bit closer… Machine guns and Santa. Machine guns, definitely don’t have much to do with the birth of Jesus Christ. But… does Santa as the spokesperson for the over commercialized consumeristic side of the holiday season really have anything to do with Jesus either? Maybe my offense is misplaced. I will downgrade the concept from blasphemous to inappropriate. It’s still wrong to place an image of childhood innocence next to weapons of war.  But perhaps not an outright insult directed at God.

Had the scene for the holiday portraits involved Mary and Joseph wearing full camouflage sporting his and hers grenade launchers with baby Jesus in a flak jacket, that would probably cross the blasphemy line for me.

What does the peace of Christ look like this holiday season? Through birth, death, resurrection, and his many ministries with the poor, sick, and outcast of society, Jesus looked at taking down the barriers of society to show love to all humanity. There are many great ways this is carried out, but I just learned about one that truly goes against the machine gun toting Santa.

In Colombia, the military wanted to find a new way to turn guerrilla insurgents away from their violence. They chose to light up large trees in the jungle with Christmas lights with a message of amnesty if they would lay down their weapons and come home. The result was a significant response to their message, more than previous attempts.

The message of peace is powerful. No amount of violence can silence the victory of peace and resurrection.

Come Lord Jesus, come.


1 Response to “Advent – Part 3: Peace on Earth, and machine guns for all?”

  1. 1 Evert December 19, 2011 at 5:09 AM

    Neither Santa nor machine guns have anything to do with any religion, and not with each other either. All 3 are separate entities which can not be combined in any way.

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