The Paradox of Peace

dove of peaceHow would you define “peace”?   Is peace just the absence of war?  Maybe there is some truth in that statement, but, there are many types of wars we engage in other than the military type we often think of.  No doubt, the images of war that flash across our television screen demonstrate its horror and its cost.  It is terrible and it is horrific.  We often think of the story of the birth of Christ as one of peace. That would work except for the fact that Herod murdered all the male children who were under 2 years old.

There are different types of ‘wars’ that you and I fight everyday.  These wars are subtle; they are the wars that are continually launched to destroy relationships, self-esteem, values and integrity.  This is where the wool literally gets pulled over our eyes time after time.  These wars are dressed up in the best finery possible.  They are masked to hide their true identity so that we are blind to their attack.  For example, the broken relationships between fathers and sons where forgiveness is not asked for nor granted or relationships between people who say that they are Christians but allow minor issues to divide them and destroy their effective witness for Christ.

There are other wars that we fight almost on a daily basis.  They enter our mind from various sources be it media, internet, or from people around us also bring conflict.  These can eventually be causes of not having peace in our hearts.  Now here is the good news, I don’t mean good news like you just won the lottery or that I can wave my magic wand and make all the bad things in your life disappear.  The good news, the really good news, is that advent reminds us that peace came to earth on that first Christmas morning and wants to give us peace!

We humans like to try to find our own way in life.  We consider it very macho if we can take on the world and come out victorious.  Unfortunately, this war that rages in us cannot be won if we are left to our own devices.  We need outside assistance and that is where the advent comes into play.  This is also where it gets tough for us “machos”.  Because we do think we can make it on our own, we reject any aid for fear that it may crimp our style.

The peace that God desires to give us is wrapped up in the form of a gift. And just like a gift you must receive it in order to benefit from it.  The Bible says it like this “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” (2 Cor. 9:15)  This is so awesome that it leaves you gasping for air, literally looking for the adequate words to express yourself.  To think that a loving, holy God would give to you and I His perfect Son is just the greatest news in the world.  It is so great that God would never force anyone to accept His gift; he looks for willing hearts to receive that treasure.

The solution to the war in your heart and mine today is not a self-help book.  But it is a baby who was born to die a death that we deserved to give us what we didn’t deserve, His peace.  No, we don’t become perfect instantly, we don’t have all the answers but rather, “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Are you living in that peace today?

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