By Pastor John Bingham
James 3:18, “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”
Thousands of people each year visit the Winchester Mansion in San Jose, California. This massive structure was built by Sarah Winchester, the widow of the gun company owner. For thirty-eight years, from 1884 until her death in 1922, the house was under constant construction. Teams of carpenters, masons and other workers were employed around the clock. Various stories have been told about the reason for this unusual practice. Most center on Mrs. Winchester’s belief that she either was haunted or would be haunted by the ghosts of those killed by her husband’s weapons unless she kept building her house. Others claim that she thought she would not die as long as building continued.
Whatever the reason, she continued ordering more renovations and construction as long as she lived. There are more than 10,000 windows in the Winchester Mansion, doorways and stairs that lead to blank walls, and some 160 rooms in total. It is estimated that she spent more than $70,000,000 in today’s money on largely pointless construction—all in a desperate search for peace that was ultimately doomed to fail.
There can be no peace without the Lord Jesus Christ because the fruit of righteousness is peace. He stated when He was here, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27-28). The difference is Christ! Peace treaties made throughout the world are often doomed to failure before the ink is dry because they are not sown in the righteousness of God. When our faith is founded on the Lord Jesus Christ and our lives are following Christ, then the by-product is peace.