Posts Tagged ‘peace on earth’

Jo 17‘So what do you think Christmas is all about, Zain?’ my husband asked our five-year-old grandson, as we drove him home from school last week.

There was silence for a while in the back of the car, but eventually he responded.

‘It’s about peace,’ he said in a very definite tone.

‘That’s an excellent answer, Zain!’ I told him—but then the moment passed and we left it at that.

Later, however, I reflected on his simple response. Why would he have chosen to say what he did? Was he repeating something he had heard at school? At kids’ church? At home? Did he even understand what the word ‘peace’ meant? Yet wherever he had heard it and whatever he thought it meant, in one word he had got to the heart of the matter, don’t you think?

Christmas is about peace—on various levels, it seems to me. It is about peace with God. It is about peace within our own hearts. It is about peace with those around us. And all of these seem to be intertwined.

Peace with God. What an incredible gift, made possible through the coming of Jesus into our world who showed us what God is like! Through Jesus’ death, we have a way back into close relationship with God. And by faith in him, we become part of the family of God—forever!

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. Romans 5:1-2

Peace within our own hearts—that deep, personal peace only God can give. That perfect peace that will sustain us through all the ups and downs of life, as we rest in God’s amazing love and trust God to guide and provide for us. That is the peace Jesus promised his disciples—and that same peace is available for us today too.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

Peace with those around us. Once we truly know the love of God and have deep peace within ourselves, it seems to me this wider peace is easier to achieve. We don’t have to compete with or be envious of others. We don’t have to score points off them. Instead, we can focus on who God is calling us to be—and allow others to do the same. Yet obviously this is easier said than done on a worldwide scale where prejudices rage that have been in place for centuries. How much we need the reign of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, in the hearts of men and women across our world right now!

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

So … may the peace of God reign in your hearts and homes this Christmas. And may 2018 see so much more of that peace on earth that Jesus Christ alone can bring!

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Jo 23Everywhere I have gone in Sydney this past week, there seems to have been a subdued feeling in the air. The Christmas hustle and bustle continues, yet people seem just that little bit more solemn, that little bit quieter and sadder in the midst of this season of joy. When chatting with others, it is not long before the conversation turns to the recent terrible event that occurred in our city.

But there have been other events as well these past weeks and months that have left us shocked and saddened. The killing of seven children in one family, along with another child. The heartless murder of well over a hundred Pakistani children and teachers. People’s lives being extinguished in horrific car accidents. The death of a promising young cricketer in the middle of a game. Further back still, the loss of many passengers on an aircraft that has yet to be found. The shooting down of another plane over the Ukraine. Beheadings in the Middle East. The list could go on.

Here in Sydney, in the aftermath of the recent siege, the hearts of many seem softened towards others. A huge number of people have visited Martin Place and left floral tributes there. People seem to want to be together more and to care for one another better. Yet there is an air of helplessness and perhaps even fear at times as well, along with a sense of shock that we could be so vulnerable to such attacks. In turn, this has brought with it a defiant stand against such violence, as many rise up to say, ‘This is not how we do things in Australia—we want to live in peace. Our culture is one of mateship and of acceptance.’

Underneath it all, however, I think there is a yearning for a peace and security this world cannot give—even our own ‘lucky country’—and a yearning for comfort and security, in the wake of such disasters. Many would struggle to verbalise this. Others would refuse to acknowledge it. But I believe it is true all the same.

We are all in need of rescuing and of the comfort and security this brings. At the moment, our youngest granddaughter is at the age where she tries to haul herself up onto various pieces of furniture around the house. Consequently, she often tumbles over, sometimes hurting herself. How comforting those loving arms of Mum or Dad or grandparents are to her at that point. How readily she nestles her head on my shoulder in these moments so I can feel those heart-wrenching sobs begin to lessen in her little body. In the same way, we too need to look to the only one who can truly rescue us and provide the comfort and security our hearts crave—Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world.

Let’s welcome our Saviour fully into our needy world and our needy hearts this Christmas. And let’s pray for that peace that passes understanding to comfort all who mourn in this season of joy.

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 Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

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