During the holiday season we often see decorations that include the word “peace” and the phrase “Peace on Earth.” Holiday cards often include sentiments about peace, the “peace of the season” and peace in the world. These are nice thoughts; thoughts that don’t offend any particular group or belief. but is this really what Jesus meant in John 14:27 when he says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
While ending violence, disagreements, poverty, and strife between people and nations are worthy and noble goals, this is not what Jesus meant, nor is it the essence of the Advent season, as is explained in our passage from Philippians. Paul teaches that prayer and study of God’s word along with meditation on the things that are true, right, pure and lovely is what brings real peace to our hearts. Jesus says clearly that he didn’t come to give peace like the world wants peace. He came to bring peace to our hearts and minds, and to cast out fear and worry in spite of the world around us.
This is what I believe about world peace this Christmas season: If believers around the world headed the words of Christ and the teaching of Paul concerning peace, we would experience a peacefulness of spirit that the world would notice and that would impact our situations at home and work and school. This would bring greater peace to the world, one person, one situation at a time. That is the peace that passes understanding. That is the peace that can unify and change the world.
May you find this peace today.