Let’s imagine for a minute that you had all the time in the world – no Palm pilot telling you you have a meeting in 10 minutes, no cell phone telling you to talk to someone, nothing but the time between sleep to do whatever it was you wanted to do.

It would be great if, in that time, you could just be at peace with people, right? Wander around and check on each person you meet, introduce yourself, shake a hand, give a glass of water … you know: just “be” as they say.

And if you think about it, I’ll bet that you could talk yourself into getting along with just about anybody. Seriously: for the sake of having a life like that one, you could probably overlook almost everything short of physical violence and verbal assault. If everyone you met was just a person like you, just being in the same way you are just being – more or less, given their state of affairs – it would seem (or seems to me) that it would be entirely delightful to simply send each moment in a kind of public private time with everyone you meet.

Luther thought Erasmus was something like this, as I understand him. Luther thought that Erasmus was really interested in peace with all men – and why not? The alternative in their day was the worst kind of anarchy in a world which had civilization only by one handle, so to speak. To cast down the mantle of peace – especially from those in political power – was to invite all manner of social and personal ills.

But you know something? Luther thought Erasmus was wrong. The problem with Erasmus’ view was that it was choosing peace over Christ. Erasmus would have been satisfied with a Christless peace so long as peace was kept, and Luther would have none of it.

In that way, and in that same spirit, let’s make sure we are not ever choosing peace over Christ. Our weapons are not earthly weapons, and our prize is not an earthly laurel. Our quarrel is not with flesh and blood. But our peace is not a Christless peace: our peace is only won, and only mediated, and only completed, in Jesus who has paid the price for this peace with his own blood.

Everything else is such a pale imitation of that we must never be tempted by it. Don’t get seduced by comfort. Get yourself together and shake off the human notion of being well-fed or well-kept. That notion is a lie.