PEACE BE WITH YOU
As we face these horrific days when peace in the world is being brutally challenged we continue in prayer for the people of the Ukraine. In addition to our prayers for peace we need to remember that we as individuals have the power to spread the Peace of Jesus in the way we live, to focus our lives as channels of God’s Peace in all our relationships. Governments cannot impose peace; it must spread from the grass roots. Peace flows like a river.
God blesses those people who make Peace. They will be called God’s children! Matthew 5:9
Lonnie Graves writes: As I have reflected on peace, and a number of events that give pause for thought over the last few hundred years, I want to remind the reader that “peace” has been a most desired“commodity”, commodity because it has been paid for with a price for thousands of years. Isaiah wrote (Isaiah 9:6) and we sing (Handel’s Messiah) of the coming of the “Prince of Peace”:
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Prince of Peace.
Before he was crucified, Jesus spoke of Peace to his disciples:
I have told you these things while I am still with you. But the Holy Spirit will come and help you, because the Father will send the Spirit to take my place. The Spirit will teach you everything and will remind you of what I said while I was with you. I give you Peace, the kind of peace that only I can give. It isn’t like the peace that this world can give. So don’t be worried or afraid. John 14:25-27
I think of peacemakers who were agitated, disturbed and unsettled before they made some major historical decision. Lincoln pacing in his office, Martin Luther King with his head in his hands, and so many others. It is not likely that at anytime they were thinking of their decisions as the creation of a “historical moment.” It is likely they were truly in prayer, and connected with the “Intercessor and Advocate – the Holy Spirit.”
The Apostle Paul in his writings shared what I believe are core elements, design, and instructions on Peace:
Always be glad because of the Lord! I will say it again: Be glad. Always be gentle with others. The Lord will soon be here. Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with Peace that no one can completely understand. And this Peace will control the way you think and feel.
Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise. You know the teachings I gave you, and you know what you heard me say and saw me do. So follow my example. And God, who gives Peace, will be with you.
And so as I close this writing, I also open with a greeting of Peace. I hold in my heart that every day is a new beginning. We should not argue, we should help each other and be gentle with each other. We should be glad and not worry. We should recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit and pray about everything, offering up our requests to God. Now, as we go forward to live into this relationship with God, through Jesus the Christ, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, let us be glad. Philippians 4:2
Let Peace begin with me.
(Lonnie Graves served in the national office of the Christian Church.)