We typically think of “peace” as the absence of hatred, war, strife, prejudice and hostility in all of society. During this Christmas season we hear many people singing carols and proclaiming “peace on earth, good will toward men.” That’s good and right, but real peace is much more than the absence of turmoil. That’s a great goal and one we should endeavor to employ in our ever-day lives. Peace is a both an internal condition and an external condition. I can have peace with others but not have peace with myself.
Real peace can only be realized in relationship with another when the foundation for that peace is authentic. There is only one cornerstone upon which we can build a real peace, and that is on a relationship with Jesus. In Ephesians 2:14-15 Paul tells us “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, (hostility)…”
A lack of peace is present when we are at odds with another. The Bible makes it clear that sin separates us from God, who sent Jesus, to restore our relationship with God. He has and will always love us, but our rebellion, doing things our own way, has separated us from experiencing His love. Through Jesus He is reaching out to us to bring us close to Himself.
When we are at peace with Jesus, through His life, death, resurrection and atoning work in our lives through relationship, we will have peace within. That peace within ourselves dramatically affects our peace with others.
Peace is not just the absence of hostility; it is much more. It has its roots in the Old Testament concept of “shalom,” a fundamental Jewish concept even today. Shalom is a much more comprehensive term for salvation and life with God. It means wholeness, completeness, well-being, prosperity. In other words, Shalom is the way things should be: the ideal. Jesus is reaching out to you today to give you peace. He loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life and by accepting Him as your personal savior; you will have a platform upon which to build peaceful relationships with others. He is your peace. Begin a relationship with Him today. It’s as simple as ABCs; Ask, Believe and Confess.
This column was written on behalf of the Moses Lake Christian Ministerial Association.