By Pastor Larry Frazier

In 1955, Jill and Sy Miller wrote a song entitled “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” Those words are the prayers of many people in the world today. From the beginning of time, however, peace has been on God’s mind for His creation. Besides the fact that rumors of war have developed into full-grown conflicts in some parts of the world, God still reminds mankind: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone,” (Romans 12:18).

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Sin and conflict came into the world long ago when Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. Their lack of trust and subsequent action destroyed peace and plunged all human beings who have come after them into sin, death, and separation from God. In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount recorded in Matthew chapter 12, He said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Throughout history, God has raised peacemakers to help soothe volatile situations.

In Genesis chapters 37-50, we read about Joseph, the peacemaker. When Joseph’s brothers were angry and jealous, he sought peace with them for the sake of the family and the nation. In 1st Samuel 19:1-7, we read where Jonathan, the son of King Saul sought to make peace between his father and David, the rising, soon-to-be anointed king. In the letter to Philemon, a slave owner, the Apostle Paul challenged the social structure by contending for peace and brotherly acceptance between Philemon and Onesimus, a runaway slave. In Matthew chapter 27, Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate for judgment. Although she said it from selfish concerns, Pilate’s wife advised him “To have nothing to do with that righteous man [Jesus].”

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Peace in all of its expressions is directed by God. There is, however, a difference between worldly peace and godly peace. Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; MY peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.” Paul further explains in Romans 5:1, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Through faith in Jesus Christ we are restored to peace with God the Father and through the work of the Holy Spirit within us we can show love and peace to one another. “We love because He [God] first loved us,” (1 John 4:19).

If peace on all levels seems to be missing in the world today, Martin Luther explains, “The just enjoys peace with God but suffers distress from the world because he lives in the spirit. The unjust enjoys peace with the world but suffers distrust and tribulation from God because he lives in the flesh,” (What Luther Says, Concordia Publishing House, 1959).

As we approach the holiday season, we are thankful for the love and peace of God that He has provided, “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, the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

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