Is Peace on Earth Possible?


John 20 recounts the resurrection of Christ after He had been crucified. He appears to His disciples on three different occasions. Each time, He greets them with the same phrase: “Peace be with you!” (John 20:19, 21, 26) I believe the reason for this is that they were very troubled by the events of the past few days. Their friend and leader had been killed; they were in hiding, afraid the same may happen to them. Jesus calmed them with His presence and His promise of peace.

I can’t think of a more appropriate greeting for today. If we’ve ever needed peace on earth, we need it now.

A significant statement is made when the angels appeared to the shepherds, announcing the birth of Messiah: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14) This is the message of Christmas – peace on earth.

The purpose of the coming of Jesus is to bring peace, to make a settlement between God and humankind. Clearly, those who are odds with Christ will not enjoy His peace. In fact, He once said, “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.” (Luke 12:51) He was speaking of the necessity of choosing Him. Jesus is what separates good from evil, peace from war.

So the only way to have peace is to know Jesus; not just as a newborn baby, but as the resurrected Lord and King. You’ve seen the bumper sticker: No Jesus, No Peace. Know Jesus, Know Peace.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

Peace be upon the earth, peace be upon you.


How about a Christmas Truce?

images-89One of my favorite stories from history is the Christmas Truce of 1914. On Christmas Day, the troops from Great Britain and France along the western front stopped fighting and declared a brief and unofficial cease-fire while they exchanged gifts, sang Christmas carols and even enjoyed a friendly game of soccer with the enemy.  It was a remarkable display of peace in the middle of unthinkable carnage.

I think the “war” started for us in earnest last Spring. The looming election brought out the worst in us: we slandered people from the other party. We spewed hate across the Internet. We disrespected and despised each other. Our country was deeply divided. Not surprisingly, November came and went and yet the poison still erupts. We’ve seen it most recently in the most insensitive and uncompassionate way; surrounding the deaths of the innocent shooting victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Unbelievably, people have taken advantage of this tragic event to tout their varied political opinions.

In the interest of world peace, I am suggesting that we declare another Christmas truce. I am hoping for just one day of not saying what we want to say. Here is my idea: On social media sites – no political cartoons, no condescending comments, no judgmental insults, no divisiveness in the press, no partisan debate, nothing on gun control, fiscal cliffs, Huckabee, anti-Obama rhetoric, James Dobson… you get the idea: One day of peace on earth. I think it is an idea that could work.

I’m not asking you to agree with your enemy. I’m not naïve enough to ask for compromise on convictions or a backing down from opinions. I just think the world could use a little peace right now. In the spirit of the Prince of Peace, Jesus! How about it?

This might even be a great time to forgive someone who hurt you, repair a breach in the family or call a long-lost loved one.

Back to 1914. The war resumed with fierce bloodiness just after Christmas. Military leaders from both sides made sure there was no repeat of the truce in 1915. But for one day, peace ruled.

2012 would be a fine time to repeat history.  Our respective “wars” will surely be waiting for us on December 26, if we are still interested in fighting.