The angels stated at the arrival of the Savior, “Peace on Earth – Good Will Toward Men” --- this encapsulates the Christmas story.
In our world, we do not see much “peace on Earth” do we? Instead we see fighting, violence, hatred, greed and inequality --- and a general disrespect for mankind.
It is obvious now, that just talking about Peace does not produce peace. Just declaring Peace doesn’t change a thing. It must be much more. I see two things that must happen before we can achieve “Peace on Earth”.
1. Peace WITH God. Mankind is at odds first with the Creator. Paul the Apostle stated, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful…professing themselves to be wise, they became fools….” (Romans 1:21-22). As a people, our # 1 issue is with God. Until we rectify that relationship, there can never be peace. We must first make peace WITH God. Here’s the good news – God has already made the first overture toward mankind. That’s why HE sent HIS Son into the world --- born as a baby in Bethlehem that first Christmas morn. Not only did HIS Son, Jesus Christ, come to earth – but he died (some 33 years later) on a Roman cross to be a sacrifice for the sins of the world – the biggest sin being our lack of honor to who God is. So, first order of business is to re-establish our right relationship with God – we must make PEACE WITH GOD. Each one of us must do that for ourselves – we must turn our hearts back toward God through prayer and faith in God.
2. Peace OF God. When a person makes things right with God, and establishes a right relationship with HIM, we are then given a “right spirit” – and that spirit is one of the “peace of God”. Now we are able to be peaceful people. We are capable to make peace with others. Jesus said Himself, “Blessed are the peacemakers….” Once we are right with God, we can then make things right with others. We can forgive others, because we have been forgiven. We can look at others in the right light, because we see ourselves in His light. Then and only then can we hope to see “peace on earth”.
Peace on Earth is not the absence of conflict – but the grace and ability to negotiate the conflict toward peaceful resolutions. It is not the absence of differences, but an ability to see differences in the right light. Differences are good --- recognize them – learn from them – adapt to them – and respect them.
Peace on Earth starts with you and me. Do you have Peace WITH God? If so, then you have THE Peace OF God working in you --- to enabling you to establish peace on earth around you – starting with your family – your neighbors – your community.
How do you change the world? One person at a time --- starting with YOU!