PEACE

peas-on-earth-t-shirtI have a couple of favorite t-shirts with different peace sign graphics printed on them. I have yet another t-shirt with a picture of little green peas standing on an earth that reads: peas on earth. I love ‘em. Dancing peas and 70’s screen-printings are always great, but I love them mainly because one of my favorite words is peace.

It started a few years back when I wanted to create a Bible study for our international women’s group on the subject of peace. It was a Christmas series revolving around the popular Isaiah 9 passage where Isaiah refers to the predicted Christ (Jesus) as the Prince of Peace. “His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace, there will be no end” (Isaiah 9:6-7). (Sounds like the makings of a good election year.)

I knew the women in my group understood Jesus to be a peaceful man and a great teacher, but did they understand why he was called the Prince of Peace? Do we? I wanted to study peace particularly because of the ironic nature of this Prince of Peace. Jesus came to bring peace, and yet, do you see peace around us today? Did the people back then experience peace on earth when the Christ finally arrived? Did Jesus himself experience peace? Has anything really changed because of Jesus living on earth?

I think we all struggle with a lack of peace – a lack both around us and in us. And when we feel our lowest or we are hit the hardest, we turn to God with helpless looks of disappointment. It is in those horrible moments that we need a gentle reminder of the nature of this peace that Jesus has to offer. Because it’s not what we thought it was.

Peaceful TravelsWhat usually comes to mind when you think of peace? Lack of war or absence of fear. Unity among people. A canoe softly gliding through still waters. A sleeping baby. Outer serenity. Inner tranquility. The quietness of a gentle breeze. Things going smoothly. A soft chair by a warm fire. Oneness. Well-being. What else?…

Those are unquestionably qualities of peace. But the peace of God is not of this world or of our understanding. It’s not always the opposite of war, like our culture describes peace to be. It is not always quiet. It’s not always gentle. No, God’s peace is active – it’s crushing, and powerful, and pursuing. It calls, it breaks through, it bonds, it joins, it reconciles us to God. It is eternal. It is a blessing and a gift. It can guide, guard, and rule our hearts. Peace is made by Christ, it is preached by Christ. It IS Christ. God’s peace is our salvation.

standing in the gapThe Prince of Peace did not come to establish earthly peace, not yet at least. He came to address the deeper problem. He came to bridge the cold, hopeless divide between a broken world and a perfect God. He came so that we might finally be reconciled to God. So that we could have peace with God. And that reuniting peace, accessed by faith in what Jesus has done, is not finished yet. God’s peace is still working in us to fill us, to bless us, to guard us, and to use us, not just for our own benefit, but also for the benefit of others, so that they may see God and also experience the hope of his everlasting peace.

The Lord God bless you and keep you; the Lord God make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord God lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. ~ Numbers 6:24-26

Peace out

3 Comments

Filed under Spiritual thoughts

3 responses to “PEACE

  1. Ginny

    Thanks, Rachel. Such good words for me at this time in my life.

  2. just dad

    way to go daughter,,,, you hit it right on target, real peace is not as we envision it to be but active, ongoing, and challenging… I will have to save this, and maybe plagiarize parts of it……. !!! dad, schmidt

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