Give Peace a Chance ~ Pastor Gary

I thought I would take a quick glance at the “front-page” stories for the online version of Canada’s Globe and Mail this morning. Here is a sampling of headlines:

  • Two Palestinians killed in clashes after UN vote on Jerusalem
  • Russian hackers targeted more than 200 journalists globally
  • Teen sentenced to 25 years in mental hospital in stabbing case
  • Details of latest Rwandan assassination plot exposed
  • Ukrainian interpreter arrested on suspicion of being a Russian spy
  • Review of sexual assault cases in New Brunswick reveals hundreds misclassified as unfounded
  • Telecom companies face price fixing charges
  • Loonie about to take sudden turn lower
  • Housing market concerns
  • Investment security fraud charges
  • Brazil to block Boeing from controlling Embraer
  • Eastern Canada to avoid romaine lettuce due to E.coli outbreak

Of our four names for the baby of Isaiah 9 born and given to us, I suspect “Prince of Peace” is the one our world most longs for. Bear in mind the above headlines represent one snapshot of one day and one newspaper’s selected group of stories. Even in this limited sample we find a world definitively not at peace; not with each other, nor within ourselves as stories of murder, war, espionage, suspicion, and greed underscore the reality that we live in anxious times. And in the time taken to note these stories, more would be available were I simply to hit the refresh button – though I am not sure how ‘refreshing’ I find it. And so it has ever been. Where there are humans, we have unrest. In fact, fundamentally, our lack of peace is not due to institutional, geopolitical, or interpersonal sin – as real as all of that is – for even if we stood on this earth alone, outside of Christ we cannot have peace. He is the Prince of Peace not because he shows us a better way of living with ourselves and others, but because he is peace. He is peace and he is the means to peace. To take liberty with John 14:6 and paraphrase Jesus: “No one comes to peace but by me.”

Yet in thy dark streets shineth
the everlasting light;
the hopes and fears of all the years
are met in thee tonight. 

This Sunday is Christmas Eve and we will look at the last of Isaiah’s prophesied names for the longed-for Messiah: the Prince of Peace. What is peace from God’s perspective? What does peace with God look like and how do we find it? And what of peace with ourselves and others? Can we find such peace in this life? All of these questions are good, and I hope to see you out Sunday morning for the answers! In the meantime … peace.

 

Much love,

Pastor Gary

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