Tag Archives: peace

An Un-Advent-ful World: Peace

Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

Where is peace? Where are the peacemakers?

2015 will go most likely go down as the bloodiest year for gun violence (although Congress has placed a ban on the collection of fully accurate gun violence statistics. Read an Washington Post article about that here.) Around the world we hear about the Syrian civil war, the fight against ISIS, the fight against Boko Haram, tensions in Ukraine, tensions in the South China Sea and Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Where is peace? Where are the peacemakers?

The political left mercilessly attacks the political right. The political right mercilessly attacks the political left.

Where is peace? Where are the peacemakers?

National politicians, political candidates and state governments battle over immigrants, refugees, use of the military, gun control, the LGBT community, the environment and healthcare.

Where is peace? Where are the peacemakers?

In an un-advent-ful world, peace is achieved through conflict. That statement, while being full of irony, is also full of truth. Peace is achieved when the strongest voice removes all traces of the voice, or voices, of decent. Throughout history this has typically been accomplished through violence, murder, coercion, assassination or imprisonment.Peace under those conditions is not really peace.

Jesus came not only to make peace between God and humanity but between humans ourselves. Jesus demanded that the Kingdom of God (which he announced had, in fact, begun) could not advance through violence or coercion. The Kingdom of God couldn’t come via Peter’s sword. It couldn’t come by James and John lording over the other disciples. It couldn’t even come by Jesus calling down legions of angels.

The Kingdom of God could only come by way of a cross, a broken body and a bleeding Son of God.

That cross, the Apostle Paul tells in Ephesians 2, not only made peace with God but it made peace between people groups because now all people have access to God. It is also because of the cross that Paul can write, “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3).

How do we advance the Kingdom of God?  We advance it through truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, salvation and the word of God (Ephesians 6:10-17).

The question remains, even in the midst of Advent, if we are called to a gospel of peace, where is peace and where are the peacemakers? Will be be people of peace and peacemakers within the world?

[This song really isn’t about Advent but it’s theme is very similar to what we have been discussing.]