Kids at work the other day asked me if I had been a hippy. I don’t know what brought up that discussion; I just walked into it. I asked if they knew what a hippy was and they did not, so I tried explaining to them what that movement had been about. I felt it wise to leave out sex, drugs and rock and roll, which pretty much left me with tie-dye shirts, peace and love.
Peace was elusive then and it is elusive now. One only has to turn on the news to hear that we haven’t learned the lessons of peace. Peace isn’t an out-there sort of thing. It’s in in-here sort of thing. I won’t be at peace with you until I am at peace with me. And I won’t be at peace with me until I’m at peace with God.
The kids at work fight over wall ball more than any other game. In an attempt to help, I made a list of 6 rules they all agreed upon, I posted it on the wall and for about 15 minutes, we had peace. It didn’t last. What I explained to the kids was that all the rules in the world won’t make people get along. I could post 500 rules about wall ball and they would still find something to fight about.
I think that’s why God gave the ten commandments; to show us that rules don’t make a person right, nor do they lead to peace. People took those 10 commandments and turned them into 100’s of rules and still couldn’t get along. The problem lies inside of us, each of us.
God knew this. He knew it would take more than rules, more than peace movements, more than peace signs and anti-war sentiments and peaceful marches to bring about peace. There is only one way to peace and that is through the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. His death, burial and resurrection made a way for us to be at peace with God, so that we could be at peace with ourselves and at peace with others. While Jesus walked on earth, His disciples expected Him to establish a peaceable kingdom here on earth. And He did, but not the way they expected it. They were looking for rulers and authorities and power and rules and a Ruler. Jesus just came to set us right so that we could be that peaceable kingdom. Each and every one of us. World peace begins with me and it begins with you.
Whether the peace we are looking for is global – like an end to wars and hunger and slave trafficking or more personal – like peace in my home, my finances, my body, my relationships – peace begins with the Peacemaker coming to reside and build His kingdom in me and in you.
Jesus Christ, my Prince of Peace, how many times have I looked in all the wrong places for peace. Only You can offer me the peace that surpasses comprehension and still I try to find it elsewhere at times. Please forgive me. Set up Your kingdom in my heart and rule in peace, I pray. Amen.