Maybe the beauty of peace has been inside of me all along. I’ve avoided confrontation most of my life. I know I’ve been compelled to be the mediator or buffer between warring parties or disgruntled relatives, greasing the wheels and paving the way to, at the least, neutrality.
I’m also deeply conflicted about war, knowing in my head there are times when might seems the only way to suppress the bully, but feeling in my soul there has to be a better way.
These global and ageless dilemmas have been with us since the very beginning. Unfortunately, worldly answers to conflict and distress, no matter how well-meaning, are often met, oddly enough by both sides, with disdain and contempt, adding to already testy relationships.
There has to be a more powerful and effective way to bring evil to its knees and wipe out pain and hunger and anger in the world. We are in serious need of a key to the place where enemies will lay down their arms and come to the table. We have to find a better way.
At great sorrow and sacrifice, God’s goodness to us delivered the Better Way for which we have searched since Adam and Eve. And, during this holy season, we honor and celebrate that Way – Jesus, Son of God. Isaiah called Him the Prince of Peace.
Ahhhhh. Peace. I have quite the collection of peace signs – pictures, cups, books, pins, pens, stickers. You name it, I’ll take that peace sign doo-dad without hesitation.* I love its meaning and structure. And its history is fascinating…
The symbol we recognize today was designed for peace activists in 1958 by Gerald Holtom, textile designer from Twickenham, England. The protesters were marching for unilateral disarmament of nuclear weapons. Holtom believed a universal symbol would serve them well, united in their demand for world-wide peace.*
Holtom’s first concept was designed around the cross of crucifixion. His final design, however, was a clever combination of the semaphore letters N – for nuclear – and D – for disarmament. Like this:
That notion of peace, however, seems almost out of reach, doesn’t it? Whether worldwide, community-wide, or within our own families, harmony and unity seem less important than power, position, and wealth.
For some, the mere mention of a family reunion draws an instant “No way,” crossed arms, dirty looks, and a million lame excuses not to go. Not even the spirit of the holidays can tamp down years of hurt feelings and misunderstandings.
And man’s inhumanity to man seems to be in unlimited supply. Whether physical or emotional, our ability to wound and cripple has remained strong throughout the ages, and there is no sign that human nature will change anytime in the foreseeable future. I reel from the images and stories about the despicable treatment of people who are in some way different, or weaker, or less than. And why I continue to be shocked when a new version of horrible is discovered, well, I don’t know.
Good golly, Miss Molly.
God never intended for it to be this way. He designed a perfect and peaceful world for His people. We are the ones who have made more of a mess of it with every new generation.
But He loves us and sent a way for things to change. Angels appeared to the shepherds and announced the birth of Jesus, singing Glory to God in the highest and on earth P.E.A.C.E! good will towards men. (Luke 2:14)
So, on this fourth Monday of the season, I remind you of the blessing foretold long before the birth of Jesus. Long before man knew or understood true grace, long before the Messiah came to earth as a child, long before the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, and Everlasting Father willingly left heaven for us, Isaiah, the prophet promised us the blessed
And for you, my lovelies, a personal blessing and benediction…
May the Lord of Peace Himself
give you P.E.A.C.E.
at all times,
in every way.
The Lord be with you all.
Wishing a Merry Christmas to you and yours…xoxox
- Um, I don’t mean anything with a peace sign. I’m just trying to make a point… xoxox
- The book about the peace sign is PEACE: the biography of a symbol, by Ken Kolsbun with Michael S. Sweeney
- The blessing and benediction at the end is 2 Thessalonians 3:16