“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace on those whom his favor rests.” ~ Luke 2:14
Peace. Of all of the virtues of Christ we celebrate during Advent, this might be the one that comes with the most baggage. On hearing the word “peace”, our minds want to go to images of protesters and flower children, hawks and doves. We want to get into an argument about if and when war is justified. That’s not very peaceful.
Looking around, it’s hard to find an example of peace. If you are reading this and live in America and are 16 or under, you have never known a time without war. We hear about new acts of terror in the news almost daily. The nation seems more divided than it’s ever been. There is violence everywhere we turn. And for many, this violence even extends into the home.
Where is the peace?
Even the verse above is cause for debate. “On whom God’s favor rests?” Is God picking sides? Does he only give peace to those he wants to?
To me, this is another one of those verses (see John 10:10 or Psalm 37:4) where we like to get ahead of ourselves. Often we read a verse like that and get hung up on the second part. Instead of giving peace a chance, we try to force it to happen. But the verse has two parts: one is in our control and something we can do, while the other we have to leave up to God. We focus on living lives that bring glory to God, and peace comes as a result.
Instead of getting caught up in the second part of that verse, perhaps we should do our part and let God do his. Instead of worrying that we’re not seeing peace in our lives and in the world around us, let’s focus on living lives that bring glory to God. And let’s earnestly pray for peace. Peace in our homes. Peace in our communities. Peace in our country. And yes, even peace on earth,.
God will come through as only God can. We serve a God who keeps his promises. Because of that, through the strife and struggle, we can proclaim with a confidence that only comes from walking in faith:
Peace is coming!