Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Prize of Peace

This past week there has been a lot of talk about peace and prizes for peace. It got me wondering about peace and the chances we have for real peace.

Is it possible for there to be peace in this age? How about the age to come? What will it look like and who will bring us true and lasting peace?

For those of us who are Christ followers we know that true and final peace will not come during this age. (See 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3) As the age comes to a close we know that there will be more and more war and strife. Peace will not be found. (Matthew 24:6).

Jesus himself taught that peace making is a blessed occupation. (Matthew 5:9) But notice that he said peace makers not those who give peace away in a Chamberlin-like fashion. Peace at any cost is no peace at all. There are times when peace making requires non-peaceful methods.

And what about peace? What is peace? Too often we equate peace with the absence of open conflict. But in the Hebrew God calls peace shalom. Shalom is so much more then the absence of conflict. It is the creation of a Kingdom where God reign and rule comes to affect every portion of our life and being. Jesus came to offer a Kingdom of Shalom. But we wanted a peace that was ruled by force. There will come a time when Jesus will rule by force but now He offers us His shalom. Shalom is used as a greeting and a farewell (a wish for God’s blessing to be upon the other person), it is used to express our wish that His will, including His shalom is done here on earth as it is in heaven.

His peace should permeate the lives of all citizens of the God’s Kingdom. Our duty as citizens and representatives of His Kingdom is to seek to further His shalom both in our lives and in the world around us. While it is true that full peace will never be accomplished until after this age when the” age to come” comes, we are still commanded during the time of “now and not yet” to practice His peace to all that we meet.

It is always interesting to watch non-followers of Christ try to create something and long for something that is impossible to attain without the most necessary ingredient – the Prince of Shalom – Jesus Christ our Prince of Peace

Peace to you

Pastor Val