God’s Word for Today: Peace. How many remember when “peace baby” was the ultimate thing to say? Maybe I have gone back too far in time for you. It was a time when many held up two fingers shaped in a V form to convey the message of peace. The upside down Y contained in a circle was everywhere. Peace was what we were supposed to obtain. Peace is what the new generation of the times was seeking.
At times, this peace revolution is centered on the conflict over in Vietnam. Two different governments were trying to impose their beliefs and rule on a people who for the most part were just surviving. It was ugly, and many lost their lives for the cause. I am not going to judge what was right and what was wrong. I am going to acknowledge that many young men died trying to obtain peace.
The hippies of the 60s and 70s thought they had found peace. Many went to the extreme of separating themselves from the norm of society, living off the land, and in a continual quest to find that ever elusive peace. Others, found their definition of peace with a little influence from various mind altering substances. Did they really obtain peace? Did anyone find the peace they were seeking? You will have to ask someone from the generation. I was just old enough to witness it, but too young to participate. I do remember the peace sign. And, some really cool clothes.
Now, we have a thumbs up instead of a peace sign. It is more like a “good job” or “I agree” type gesture. The thumb up is a positive gesture that is shared. So, we really can’t criticize it. I wonder if the next sign will be a combination of the two? A thumbs up included with a peace sign. Kinda puts a strain on the hand. And, if one of the signs is pointed up, the other is at the side. Is it even possible to have “peace” and “like” something at the same time? Or, do you like something first and then wish it peace? Or maybe we should project peace as a premier and then be able to like it? Oh, what to do…
1 Corinthians 14:33. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace-as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.
When this word peace first came up as the word for today, I was more inclined to lean toward, “peace on earth and good will toward man”. But, then I was given this scripture to use.
Many of the God’s Word for Today talk about how the Churches are beating each other up. How are we ever supposed to promote peace and unity to the world if we as a congregation spend all of our time judging other congregations? How many people choose not to go to church because they have to then decide exactly what rituals are the preferred form of worship. Or maybe it is a designated dress code. Or even better, how you are supposed to dress your thoughts.
Peace and good will toward man are being brought to the forefront this time of year. Christmas is the focus. Well, it is the intended focus. Many are busy focusing on what others are doing wrong. We are so busy criticizing those whose say “Happy Holidays” because it just has to be “Merry Christmas”, that we are already missing the point of celebrating Jesus’ birth. Now look at me, I am reduced to criticizing those who criticize. As a society, are we not stuck in a continual rut?
We have determined that peace can be found. Many have searched various commodities of this world in search of peace. Many have found, including yours truly, that worldly manufactured peace is only temporary. Then, some pretty ugly things start popping into our lives. Or maybe, we don’t seek peace so much, but we are too busy trying to force others to conform to our definition of peace.
Today, let’s step back, take a breath, and set peace over to the side. Let’s concentrate on the second half of the Scripture. Let’s look at the rest of the hidden Scripture I included today. Instead of continuing on a search of peace while we are busy criticizing all the wrongs of this world, let us try something new. Today, let’s come together as one congregation of God. This congregation is going to focus on Good Will toward Man. Yes, today work on the good will toward man, part. I guarantee, the peace thing will find its way into your life………….
Prayer: My dearest Lord and distributer of Peace, I thank you for this special time of year. Forgive me Father for spending more time judging others when I should be trying to spread good will to others. For Lord, I now realize that the only peace to be found on earth is thru the giving of good will. Help me today to stop judging and lean more toward giving and loving. In Jesus’, the Master of peace and good will, name I pray. Amen.