Thursday, December 10, 2009

R.E.A.L. Women Devotional - Peace on Earth

Recently, while I was out running my usual errands, I noticed banners hanging form the light posts. They each have a word written on it and the words read, Love, Joy, and Peace. It seems that this one month out of twelve, it is time to lay all differences aside and include those three words into our lives.

The word peace seemed to be on my radar. There is such a focus on peace around the world, yet to see it in action is very rare. Rather than people actually living in peace with one another, they are tolerating one another. People will protest a cause with signs that scream "PEACE". This would seem like an oxymoron. The symbol used for peace is another thing that puzzles me. Years ago it was brought to my attention that it is a symbol of an upside down, broken cross. The thought behind it is if there wasn't religion then we'd have peace. It's interesting that the symbol for religion was the cross, not any other religions symbol. Yet, Jesus was sent by God with one of his titles being the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6). The peace sign should be the symbol of the cross!

This past week in my daily devotions, the New Testament reading was from First, Second and Third John. They are small books, yet they have a big message. The general idea in these three books is love. As I was reading it, the Lord brought to my mind those banners hanging throughout my city. People want peace throughout the world. Jesus is the peace that man is looking for but refuses to accept him. We all know that John 3:16 tells us that God loved us so much that He sent us love in the flesh, his Son Jesus.

But as I was reading 1 John, a particular verse jumped out at me that made me realize true peace only comes from true love. First John 4:11 says, "Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." True peace can only exist if love is the root of it. If we truly think there can be peace in the world with out love being the source of which it thrives, then we are just fooling ourselves and the peace we are looking for is a cheap imitation. Jesus paid a high price for us to receive the gift of genuine peace.

As I mentioned in beginning, we only get one month out of twelve with the theme "Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men". It is the only time of the year, that everyone gets to hear the Good News of Peace through the Christmas carols that play as the back ground music in stores and shops. Even a local secular radio station is playing Christmas music all month long, is playing songs that proclaim Jesus has come to bring life, joy and peace to the earth.

This Christmas, I pray the world would receive the peace it so desperately wants. The kind of peace that can only be received through Jesus Christ, God's one and only Son. There is a hymn called "Let There Be Peace on Earth" that is sometimes sung during this season. The lyrics say this:

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me,
Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be.
With God as our Father, brothers all are we,
Let me walk with my brother, in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now,
With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow,
To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me!

May you receive the gift of peace this season through the act of love. May you be love to those without peace!

(Drawing by Justin Hamilton)