Friday, December 26, 2008
Peace on earth...?
A funny thing happened at our Christmas Eve service...well, funny is not the right word...IRONIC is probably better.
One of the traditions of Advent is to light the four candles leading up to Christmas. Those candles are Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. At the Christmas Eve service, those four candles are all lit, as well as the Christ candle, demonstrating that the one that was waited for, the much needed messiah would come and bring those 4 candles to fruition.
So, two child acolytes go up to the candles to light them during the service. The only problem is that one of the candles will not light. After a couple minutes of failed lighting attempts, and nerves, frustration and embarrassment probably crushing this kid's ego, someone came to help. Finally, after much trial the PEACE candle was lit.
Here's my issue though...God's peace is not very evident in this world. The prince of peace did not really pull off what was promised did he? In fact, through the centuries, war has gotten progressively more common and excessively more catastrophic.
So, we as Christians have a few options. We can say that the peace Christ offers is an inner peace that happens in right relationship with the Most High God.
We can say that ultimate peace comes not in this world but in the next, when Heaven comes and every tear is wiped away and swords are beaten into plowshares.
Or we can say that this peace has not permeated the planet because the people of peace (the church) have not held to the promises of the word of God.
I've sidestepped this issue in my blog for a really long time, but I am going to do a series of blogs on PEACE over the next few days. If you had to answer the problem of peace, which of the above solutions would you lean to as an answer?