January 22, 2022

The Peace of God


We love the prophecy in which Messiah is called Prince of Peace, whose coming will bring about endless peace. But when it's read in church, we're usually taken aback by this verse that is part of the same prophecy:
All the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire.
 Isaiah 9:5
How often we forget that peace isn't a naïve denial of struggle. Indeed, the path of peace sometimes leads through the midst of difficulty or conflict. The olive branch the dove brought to Noah came after a destructive flood. And the peace of Christ was purchased on the cross.

There's a great hymn (that most of us never sing) called They Cast Their Nets, by William Alexander Percy. It's about the cost of discipleship, and the closing stanza goes like this: 
The peace of God, it is no peace, 
but strife closed in the sod. 
Yet let us pray for but one thing—
the marvelous peace of God.
✙ 
As we seek God's peace, may we not ignore the struggles that surround us.

By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
 Luke 1:78-79
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: Have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: Have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: Grant us peace.
✙ 
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

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Text selection ©2021 Evangelische Brüder-Unität. All scripture quotations from the New Revised Standard Version, unless otherwise noted.