By Brian Shimer
War. The word alone evokes horrible images, images made even more graphic by the terrorist’s practice of filming themselves in atrocities and posting them. Ukraine and Russia are still at war. Israel and Palestine are at war. Everyone knows someone closely impacted —family members, friends, missionaries, and relatives — while we live far away praying, asking, believing for peace.m“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” David wrote in Psalm 122:1.
If there is anything I long to see in this season, it is a harvest of peace:
-Peace between peoples and people groups
-Peace between enemies
-Peace in homes
We know the source for such peace…
“For (Jesus) He Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.” (See Ephesians 2:14-18)
Jesus established the way for peace by becoming that way. He created a new humanity, not Jew or Gentile. So we not only pray, but live out the very peace Jesus has established. Stated simply — if I want to see a harvest of peace in the world, alongside prayer, I need to live at peace day by day.
When I am at odds with myself and others, when I am holding another in judgment, when I am angry, hateful, bitter, then, I am personally at war. Like the famed “butterfly effect” — that war does impact the world. If I am rude and bitter with the grocery store clerk, she might carry that bitterness home and inflict it on her son, who then might carry that bitterness onto the playground by being a bully the next day at school, and another child might end up carrying that hurt home impacting his dad, who then carries it into his own work. And on it goes. Yet, what might have happened had the clerk instead met in me love, joy and grace?
“Make me a channel of your peace…” sang St Francis. May we live this.