The Advent wreath holds candles representing hope, peace, joy and love. Beautiful things. The most beautiful things in the world. But I gotta admit…I have trouble believing in “peace on earth.” Look around. Too many people and nations seem bent on deliberately shattering peace. There must be some kind of gratification in that that’s all-consuming.
“And in despair I bowed my head 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.” (Verse 3 of “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”)
The only thing I can figure is peace within the chaos.
Peace is obviously important to God. Matthew 5:9. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Children of God. That’s a pretty big deal.
So two things come to mind. One is that we’ll be blessed if we serve as peacemakers. Or said another way, peace brokers.
And two, that we can find peace within our hearts. For me, this will be a lifelong task. Peace began stepping in when I let go of some false notions about earning God’s favor. What a trap! His immense love now dawns on me incrementally and fortunately, daily.
When my friends ask me how I’m doing, I tell them about this-and-that (the outward things) but I follow with “and internally, I’m more peaceful than I’ve ever been.” I really like this trajectory. It warms my soul.
“Then rang 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.” (Verse 4)
I’m finding that “peace on earth” begins within.