The challenge of understanding peace

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The challenge of understanding peace       

Ecclesiastes 3:8 “There is a time for peace”.

Extra Reading: Ecclesiastes 3: 1-14.

The word “peace” is multidimensional, emotive, and capable of being misused. Peace can refer to inner tranquility or tranquil relations between nations. Peace can also refer to war.  Those who “fight for peace” may do so because they believe this is a way of ending conflict and moving toward a better world. Positive peace refers to the absence of causes of war, or armed conflict. Throughout Christian history, followers of Jesus have looked forward to an end of time when God will intervene to bring about peace, “when nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isaiah 2:4). The first Christians believed that military service and killing were contrary to Jesus’ teaching. Time came when the church accommodated itself to admitting soldiers into membership. A tradition known as just war theory, holding that Christians could sanction a war fought under certain conditions for a just cause and in a just manner, emerged. Many mission organizations of old condemned evil and developed strategies to end practices perceived as immoral such as slave trade, opium trafficking in China, human rights violations in most parts of the world. Christian peacemaking is part of mission.

During difficult times of bloodiest wars, Christians have worked for positive peace and reconstruction of war-torn regions. Christian workers provide a comprehensive ministry of spiritual and physical healing. They incarnate Christ in a broken world among victims of sin, including war. They contribute to positive peace through a holistic sharing of the gospel of Jesus. When war erupted, they number among martyr victims along with indigenous believers. The Lord is Peace (Judges 6:24). God is not a God of disorder but of peace (1 Cor. 14:33). Paul once said, “The God of peace be with you all” (Romans 15:33). Jesus’ other name is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Scripture encourages us “to be at peace with God” (Job 22:21). We are promised peace with God.  The Lord will bless his people with peace (Psalm 29:11).  We are challenged to seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:14). God has called us to peace. We are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem as well (Psalm 122:6). Melchizedek was king of peace (Hebrew 7:2). Are you promoting peace?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to promote peace in a troubled world. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!

Rev. Samuel N. Modise    

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