Let There Be Peace

While the phrase “peace on earth” is generally associated with the Christmas season, the folk-song lines “Let there be peace on earth/And let it begin with me” have long been sung year-round. Perhaps if we gave more attention to letting God cultivate peace in us as a fruit of the Spirit (cf. Gal. 5:22-23), we’d find more of the larger peace and new start we hope for each December, rather than forgetting about it by mid-January as we and the world return to business as usual.

Spiritual peace is not a concept easily understood by human nature. If peace is truly Christlike, it can’t depend on earthly circumstances to make things easy, nor can it represent physical or mental withdrawal from the world. It must be an emotional dependence on God alone, a trusting that He is our real, unshakable, perfect Security. That was the peace that enabled Jesus to stand with quiet dignity before the court determined to condemn Him to death, that allowed Peter to firmly declare to an equally hostile tribunal “We must obey God rather than men,” that strengthened Paul through three nerve-wracking days on a stormy sea and through eventual shipwreck. In less life-threatening but still adrenalin-straining situations, godly peace should be what enables us to stay busy without getting frazzled–and what gives us a sense of when to say “No” to one more responsibility and when to rest completely for a while.

Our achievement-driven, anxiety-ridden, material-things-dependent society has long forgotten such peace. And too often we fall under society’s influence and forget about God’s peace as well, living effectively as the pagans of Matthew 6:31-32 who are constantly running after what they need in their own power–and fretting for fear of not catching it. If we truly want peace in our souls, we must first determine to live by Jesus’s words in verses 33-34: “But seek first [God’s] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”

This Advent, how about setting aside some extra time each day to meditate on the peace God offers us?

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2 Comments

  1. janetanncollins

     /  December 6, 2013

    May peace be with you, Katherine.

    Reply
  2. Jerrie

     /  December 8, 2013

    Katherine, thank you for the effective and beautiful reminders. Merry Christmas to you!

    Reply

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