Choosing Peace, When Folks Are Spoiling For A Fight!
“We tend to take peace and goodwill for granted until a squabble blows up in our faces,” Ed said. He was talking about his curling team. Last week his curling team had a meltdown among themselves. Ed likes to exaggerate but in his words, “It seemed like everyone, but me, was spoiling for a fight, and ready to let all of Saskatchewan hear them yapping.”
“What did you do to restore peace?” I asked. Ed said I told them, “I don’t care if you hate each other, but nobody wants to hear you barking at each other. Have your dogfight after the game.” Ed confessed that the team became silent and stayed that way even after the game was over.
“Are things back to normal or will hostilities break out again between your team members?” I asked Ed. He said that there was a good chance they would, since the members of his curling team are related, and families love to fight.
Sadly, it is not just families that have trouble living in peace and goodwill. Our world never seems to fill its appetite for arguing, fighting and wars. When will we as individuals learn that in peace, there are no losers: and in war, there are no real winners? Why is it that most of us are not willing to drop a matter before a dispute breaks out?
As Christians, we believe God’s Son was born at Bethlehem to be with us here on earth, and that he came as the Prince of Peace. His life and death for sinners would give peace or reconciliation between God and sinners. Jesus’ life was an example of nonviolent reaction to threats, arrest, hate, and crucifixion. He was an instrument of peace in a world full of Roman power, and religious jealousy and rejection. He demonstrated serenity in the reality of hatred.
Ed, my old neighbor, believes that the Christians he has met are not any better at being peaceful than any other folks. In fact, Ed accuses us of being demanding and unwilling to hear anything but our own opinions. All of us, Christian or not, need to consider what we can do to promote peace in ourselves, in our families, and the world. It is undoubtedly right when everyone says, “Let there be peace and let it begin with me.” It is good for us all to consider the words of Mother Teresa about peace. “Peace begins with a smile. If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
Peace from God allows us to forgive ourselves for our transgressions before God and to forgive the sins of others against us. With God’s forgiveness for all sinners, everyone can win. Peace is a gift of the Holy Spirit as we live in the loving forgiveness of God given in Jesus. Jesus overcame evil with his peace that was willing to lose his life to win.
We need God’s help to be peaceful and forgiving. Even in the Christmas holiday season, we can be spoiling for a fight. I offer these words from 2 Thessalonians, “May the Lord of peace himself, give you peace at all times and in every way.”