Let Peace Begin With Me

Advent Blogging 2007

9 Killed in Shooting at Omaha Mall
5 Killed in New Life Church, YWAM Attacks
6 Shot After Leaving Vegas School Bus

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Today I was thinking about my advent post on peace.  I was thinking about shalom and the restoration of all things to the way that they were intended to be.  God’s intentional restoration is so amazing.

Yet this evening as I read the headlines and grieved for the families of those who lost loved ones, I also wondered about the lost and wounded souls who committed these violent acts.  They seemed so far away from even beginning to grasp the love that could heal them.

In particular, I read about the young man from the Colorado shootings, wondering what caused him to target Christian groups.  Apparently he was raised in a religious family that went to church.  However, somewhere along the way the message of God’s love was distorted to him. 

Ideally for each of us, as we grow in our relationship with the Father, the sins and wounds from our past are dealt with, and we grow in our experience of peace.  But what happens when the very thing that has the power to heal and save is presented as abuse, shame, and control? 

Yes, the killers are responsible, but what evil influenced them to the point of becoming the twisted and angry people they were?  Virginia Tech, Columbine, and so many more.  Would Jesus have recognized these outcasts hovering at the brink of despair and violence?  Could they have been reachable? 

Global peace, national peace, peace in our cities and streets, peace in our relationships and families – all of these are important.  We are to be peacemakers, but in order to do that, we must experience peace ourselves.  

As long as we act out of our brokenness, we will inflict pain on others, both intentionally and unintentionally.  Of course not to the degree of these tragedies.  Just the little things, like impatience with our children, criticism of our spouse, angry words to the store clerk, gestures to stupid drivers, all the little things that show our lack of peace oozing out the cracks of our vessel.

Peace doesn’t just happen.  We all know the broken parts of our own lives – the areas where we struggle, where we feel ashamed of who we are, the things we are most afraid are true about ourselves.  Quite often, these are the areas where we over-react.  We sometimes become angry or anxious when others trigger our weaknesses.  This is usually a big clue that there is an underlying issue that needs healing.

We will begin to experience wholeness when we bring these issues before the Father, one by one, for however long is necessary, allowing Him to reveal whatever is necessary to heal our hearts and minds.   Our relationship with the Father can and should be one of progressive peace and wholeness. 

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

Other Advent Bloggers: 

  • Brother Maynard
  • Adam Copeland
  • Lori Bjerkander
  • Robin Dugall
  • Julie Clawson
  • Lainie Petersen
  • John the Shepherd
  • Glenn Jordan
  • Lyn Hallewell
  • Matt Stone
  • Peggy Brown
  • Rob Robinson
  • J. Michael Matkin
  • Sonja
  • Christine Sine
  • Cindy Bryan
  • Eric G.
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    3 thoughts on “Let Peace Begin With Me

    1. thanks grace, your post reminds me of the struggles of u2 in their song peace on earth…

      “Heaven on Earth, we need it now
      I’m sick of all of this hanging around
      Sick of sorrow, sick of the pain
      I’m sick of hearing again and again
      That there’s gonna be peace on Earth

      Where I grew up there weren’t many trees
      Where there was we’d tear them down
      And use them on our enemies
      They say that what you mock
      Will surely overtake you
      And you become a monster
      So the monster will not break you

      And it’s already gone too far
      Who said that if you go in hard
      You won’t get hurt?

      Jesus can you take the time
      To throw a drowning man a line
      Peace on Earth
      Tell the ones who hear no sound
      Whose sons are living in the ground
      Peace on Earth
      No whos or whys
      No one cries like a mother cries
      For peace on Earth
      She never got to say goodbye
      To see the color in his eyes
      Now he’s in the dirt
      Peace on Earth

      They’re reading names out over the radio
      All the folks the rest of us won’t get to know
      Sean and Julia, Gareth and Ann and Breda
      Their lives are bigger than any big idea

      Jesus can you take the time
      To throw a drowning man a line
      Peace on Earth
      To tell the ones who hear no sound
      Whose sons are living in the ground
      Peace on Earth
      Jesus sing a song you wrote
      The words are sticking in my throat
      Peace on Earth
      Hear it every Christmas time
      But hope and history won’t rhyme
      So what’s it worth
      This peace on Earth “

    2. I put his (Matt) poem on my blog yesterday (Crying Alone in Pain).

      I think that we are “too busy” at times to notice the pain and hurt. I obviously can not guarantee that we (anyone) could have changed the situation if we reached out.

      But for me, we need to reach out. The tie in for me with this week in Advent was chilling.

      It was the candle of Bethlehem. The preperation for the journey. We are on a journey and while we are on the journey, we need to be looking, watching and seeing/hearing those around us.

      We must be willing to reach out.

    3. Thanks Paul,
      Yep, sick of sorrow, sick of pain,
      but God is not dead, nor doth he sleep.

      Jeff,
      Great thoughts. Yes we need to be seeing those around us on the journey, especially learning to hear and see those that God wants us to touch.

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