Friday, December 11, 2015

Looking for Peace?

Peace.  When I hear the word there is a calm that comes over me.  It is soothing.  Peace is turning off all the noise.  Peace is having all the yelling and screaming stop.  Peace is freedom from the fear that something terrible is about to happen.  Peace is a gentle breeze caressing your face while you listen to the gurgling of a bubbling brook.  Peace is staring at the serene look on a baby's face while they sleep.  Peace.  We long for it.  We cherish the moments we enjoy it.  We search for it.

There is an inescapable place where the absence of peace is deadly.  It is in that cauldron of our soul.  External surroundings cannot soothe its churning long term.  Ultimately it is the struggle of defiance and independence from its Creator.  For some it is expressed in guilt and shame.  For others, it is ruthless self-defining.  But for all it is a desperate need for peace and resolution.  The funny thing is that when there is peace in the soul there is a sense of peace everywhere.

There was an idyllic scene suddenly interrupted one night.  It happened in a field where some shepherds were carefully watching over their flocks, keeping the lions and bears at bay.  An angel showed up with some news.  Said it was good news of great joy.  And he told them about the birth.  You know the story.  But it is what immediately follows that can help us today.  Here is the account in the Scriptures:

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

A heavenly host was an angel army.  The army was not at war with men but rather was praising God.  Why?  Listen to the connection.  God was being praised in the highest, to the greatest extent, and it was because He was providing a means of peace for those who would experience His pleasure.  The King James says, "Peace, good will toward men."  It is God's purpose and pleasure, His will,  to provide a means by which those He created can walk in the peace and joy for which He created us.  To be at peace with Him.  And when we are at peace with Him, we can be at peace with one another and most importantly find peace within ourselves.  

Later it would be written, For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,  1 Timothy 2:5

Are you experiencing peace today?  It is possible but only through living in relationship with Jesus Christ, the One who has been called the Prince of Peace.  The good news for us today is that His peace is an everlasting peace.  I'm grateful we can experience that in the midst of a world that seemingly has no peace.  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace........  Amen.

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