We hear a lot this time of year about “peace on earth”. What does that mean? What is peace? How and where do we find it?
First of all, what is peace? Merriam-Webster offers several definitions, including: a state of tranquility or quiet; freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions; harmony in personal relations. How nice does that sound? No turmoil. No warring, internally or externally. Just calm and tranquility.
Where and how do we find peace? Sometimes we try to force peace. Through war. Through confrontation. Strong-arming. Asserting assumed authority and whipping someone else into submission. But is that really peace? There may be no external conflict, but is that true tranquility, harmony, contentment and freedom? The way to true peace isn’t through coercion or force. So what is the way?
The Bible tells us the answer.
Peace comes from God. Our peace comes from being in Christ. We bring peace to others by teaching them about Christ and showing them who He is. One of the names given to Christ in Isaiah 9:6 is the Prince of Peace.
Further, Micah 5, starting in verse 2 and reading through the beginning of verse five, says:
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel, Whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf. The people of Israel will be abandoned to their enemies until the woman in labor gives birth. Then at last his fellow countrymen will return from exile to their own land. And he will stand to lead his flock with the Lord's strength, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. Then his people will live there undisturbed, for he will be highly honored around the world. And he will be the source of peace.
The One born in Bethlehem, whose origin was in the past, would lead His flock and be their Source of Peace. Who does that sound like? We find that peace through Christ.
We are human. It’s not going to be perfect. As long as we are on earth, there will be turmoil. There will be conflict, disquiet, and oppression. But as we let the Spirit of the Lord shine through us, and draw more people to Him, more people will find that peace. The kind we can’t explain or understand. The kind that swallows up fear and hate and anger. The kind that can only truly come from the Source of Peace, the Prince of Peace. We commune with God, and He with us, and we become more settled in that peace. We demonstrate it and share it with others. And that peace will spread, until one day, “His people will live…undisturbed”. And oh what a day that will be.