I was listening to a program today. There were lovely sounds of the season by voice and instrument and scripture reading along with a few thoughts tossed in here and there; all on the topic of “Peace”.
There seems to be very little, if any, peace in our world which has gone mad. Last week we lost 28 people in a mass murdering rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School by a 19 year-old young man who certainly had gone mad. Before then, there was horrific 9-11, a murder massacre at Columbine High School and countless others. Besides murder and suicide, we have “murder by nature” with destructive floods, hurricanes, earthquakes. Then there are diseases of all kinds, but need I go on? History has recorded hundreds of years of pain and destruction and surprisingly, we are not strangers to it in our own lifetime. So where’s the peace?
The world cries peace, peace when there is no peace (Jeremiah 6:14) which got me thinking. How does “peace” fit into our personal world when we have experienced the tragic loss of our children? If it’s not “out there” can it still be “in here” ~ within my heart?
Shall we find out what the Bible has to say? First, let’s go to the prediction found in the Old Testament in the book of Isaiah: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
The answering echo to the prophet Isaiah is found in the New Testament tucked in the book of Luke: Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:8-11, 13-14
Go ahead. Read them again, s-l-o-w-l-y. Savor each word. Let them sink into your soul like water droplets soaking into a dry sponge. Though written long ago, these words of encouragement are meant for us today!
What we feared had been permanently erased from our lives is not. Midst the stormy blasts in our lives we can still have peace. Evidently believers are expected to connect these two stories, for therein lies our hope.
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love. 2 John 1:3