“Give Peace a Chance” is a popular anthem in the anti-war song by John Lennon. This floor-stomping, hand clapping protest song was sung 46 years ago from a ‘bed-in’ with his wife at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. It’s message and beat took the world by storm becoming one of the most popular songs of all time. It lifted John Lennon into the stratosphere of iconic celebrity. The lyrics position peace in contrast to several ‘isms’, famous names in popular culture, and controversial topics in the 1970’s.
Not much has changed over the years. Maybe the ism’s, names, and topics have changed but the war rages on and on. It’s an endless circle of humanity fighting for power, control and significance, from the highest offices in politics to the everyday comments on social media news feeds.
The question is how should Christians engage the culture around us? Do we adhere to a political ideology and fight for power and control? Do we attach our hearts to public figures that represent our worldview and stand in agreement with them? Do we wage war against the controversial topics of the day in Jesus name? Are these legitimate Christian ‘ways’ or is Jesus calling us to a higher purpose walked out a different way?
I have heard it said that all of our relationships belong to God. That makes me tremble.. Literally! I find myself struggling to remain in peace while hearing how ‘fine sounding arguments of human wisdom” (Colossians 2:4) are deceiving dear friends away from the truth found in Jesus. How do we pilot these relationships? Do we argue truth or do we remain in peace with one another? And what about those we differ with politically or even those of a different faith?
Scripture provides us with sobering words to chew on as we steer through this world and it’s ways. Peace is a major theme in the bible. While the Israelites were captive in Babylon, God directed them to work ‘toward the welfare/peace of the city’ (Jeremiah 27:9). God even told them that they would come out of captivity ‘in joy and be lead forth in peace’ (Isaiah 55:12a)
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:18 that we have been given the ministry of reconciliation. Reconciliation meaning a change of relation from enmity to peace. And Jesus himself tells us that he has left peace with us.. “My peace I give unto you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)
The ministry of reconciliation is given to us as a new purpose for our new life in Christ. A life we acquired through faith to reconcile our relationship with God and others. We are true to our calling when we seek the welfare of our cities, and bring a blessing of peace to ‘faith gentiles’ all around us. I believe ‘how’ we engage and deliver the message of Reconciling Peace matters. I believe Jesus is asking us to operate in peace-filled relationships, as much as it depends on us.
Maybe Jesus is saying; Give peace a chance when he didn’t count our trespasses against us, and humbly went to the cross to purchase our redemption and reconciliation with God. Will we let peace rule in our hearts as we engage with our culture bringing the ministry of reconciliation in Christ into a world increasingly deceived by fine sounding arguments of human wisdom?
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God bless you!