Pastor’s Viewpoint: 4-8-17

Published 7:00 am Sunday, April 9, 2017

The earliest swords, dating back to 3300 BC, were made of arsenical bronze which is arsenic-copper. They were about 24 inches long and really more dagger-like than sword-like because the tensile strength of bronze was rather low and longer blades would bend more easily. Near the end of the Bronze Age, longer blades were made possible by using a tin-copper metal. (Bronze is tin-copper; brass is zinc-copper.)
As the blades grew longer, they began to be called swords from the old English “sweord.” By the 1700’s, the blades in Minoan Crete were 100 cm, or about 39 inches long, and the amount of tin, about 11+/-%, made them weaker, but more likely to bend than to break. The Chinese used 19+/-% tin making their blades stronger, but more likely to break.
Beginning in the 13th Century, blades were made of iron and there is some mention of steel blades from India. The Romans favored iron blades from 24-28 inches long, which were not much better than bronze blades, but were more easily produced in quantities. (The Evolution of Swords) All of which brings us to our story…
The Roman soldiers came to arrest Jesus and “When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.”
“But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.” (Luke 22:47-53)
After 3300 years of using swords to fight, Jesus says, “No more of this!” I’d love to say we can now throw down our swords and simply live in peace, but you and I know there is much more to be done before we can beat our swords into plowshares and live in peace.
Later, after Jesus’ arrest and during his crucifixion, he said, “It is finished.” I’d love to say we can now all believe in and accept Jesus as Savior and Lord and live in peace… and I’d be out of a job. But there is still much to be done; meanwhile, we’re dreaming and hoping and moving and praying and working toward the day when “No more of this!” is fulfilled and realized in the coming kingdom of God.

– Pastor’s viewpoint is written by Charles ‘Buddy’ Whatley, a retired United Methodist pastor serving Woodland – Bold Springs UMC and, with Mary Ella, a missionary to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.