DECEMBER 11: You sure you want peace?
We could experience more peace in our world if we wanted more—more accurately, if we were aiming for a deeper peace.
Yet there are at least two reasons we want less:
1) True peace seems truly impossible.
2) True peace asks too much of us.
If everything promised about Jesus actually came true, everyone would be happy. Some struggle to believe Jesus is the spiritual and social answer not because of intellectual tensions, but because it is almost too wonderful to believe.
One “whopper” promised in Jesus was peace.
When the angels announced Jesus birth to the shepherds, they reportedly said,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” *
Peace for people experiencing God’s best.
Not automatic, but available. Possible.
Augustus, the ruler of the developed world at the time Jesus was born had already delivered a kind of peace (no wars). But this peace came at a stiff price: heavy taxation, massive poverty from economic inequalities. Was Jesus to simply replicate this kind of peace for another term? Or was this announcing something else?
What kind of peace do you want most right now? What kind do you hope you get for the holidays? Chances are, what springs to mind isn’t what you’d think is best for our world, our communities or our souls.
Most of us would settle for a little…
…peace and quiet. (year-end deadlines looming, a thousand social commitments crowding your calendar)
…relational peace (that conflict you can’t seem to work through, the stonewalling, the cold shoulder, maybe this is the first December since the divorce)
…political peace (tribal violence, historic national conflict, politicians slinging mud, the cacophony of online “discourse”)
…peace of mind (what keeps you up at night, financial strain, your past, a few secrets, dissatisfaction, fear of the future, doubt…anger)
The kind of peace God wants to give you (and your world) isn’t automatic, but it is available. It is a miracle, but God has made it attainable. Want more.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
“PeaceMaker, I know it’s not enough and I know it’s just temporary, but I would honestly settle for some reasonable peace. I would be happy if my mind and my world could just calm down for a minute. But I know I’m not longing deeply enough. I trust today that, if I seek whatever peace You want to give me, all these other things will be added as well.”
*Luke’s biography of Jesus, chapter 2, verse 14