Can There Be Peace On Earth?
by Mai-Anh Le 11/08/2010 / Devotionals
This is my reflection on the subject of PEACE and on the Scripture Isaiah 27:5 : "Or else let them come to me for refuge; let them make peace with me, yes, let them make peace with me,".
Peace on earth and good will towards all mankind this is a wish that good neighbors often offer to one another during the Christmas season. But this peace, though sincerely wished for, is not so easy to attain in our world. Almost 24hours a day, it is impossible to listen to the nation or world news without hearing about the questions for peace in certain parts of the world. In Africa, Europe, Asia, North and South America and of course the most publicized the Middle East region there are constant talks about how or will peace ever be attained within those regions. No matter which side you listen to, whether it is the right or the wrong, the aggressor or the defender, the right wing extremists or their counterpart, all sides argue that peace can only be won if matters were settled such that the favors are biased their way. Now wouldn't that be easy, at least for one side anyhow. And here in lies one of the steps which keep peace from becoming a reality. In the Middle East, though a tiny spark of hope can now be seen, for many years the leaders of those two nations refused to even meet with one another. How does one approach towards peace when one can't even bare to look across the table at one's neighbor?
Although many people will say that religion and politics do not or should not be entwined, I tend to disagree. I believe that religion, when used correctly is the one thing that can help bring peace to nations and their political wars. I also believe that God wants very much for our world to be at peace, to be restored to the way He had originally planned for it to be whole, and one with each other. And that is why His Words give us the formula for achieving peace. At times the Words give us this lesson by teaching us how to attain entry to the ultimate peaceful place of all heaven.
So, does there exist hope for peace to abide in the Middle East? Sure, but it would require the utmost discipline from the most wanting hearts in order for it to occur, because what does the Bible tell us first is needed in the steps towards peace? No matter if we are speaking on a world level or a family level, that first step is reconciliation. The dictionary defines reconciliation as, "to cause to be friendly or harmonious, to settle differences." As simple as the statement sounds, obviously that is a tall order when considering the situation between Israel and Palestine. However, this does not make it impossible. For there was a time in history when the Jews and Muslims in Palestine co-existed peacefully under Ottoman rule. For many centuries this occurred while they also fought along each other's side against the European Crusaders.
If God was the peace negotiator for these two nations, chances are He might refer to His Words from the Psalms of the Old Testament, a text that is venerated as holy by Jews and Muslims. "Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it," (Psalm 34:14). The relationship between these countries has reached an impasse many years ago. But instead of taking reconciliation as a step towards solution, many on both sides have taken to suicide bombings, military actions, and evil acts of war which only exasperated the problem even further. If peace is to be attained, all the killing must first cease and then open and honest negotiations must follow. No matter how hard or painful the process is, it could not be as painful as the many deaths and innocent lives that have been lost in this conflict through the many decades.
Many today are doing their best to push God out of the political world. In this country it has even gotten to the point of wanting to prohibit children from saluting the country's flag because it calls for an acknowledgment of God's existence and worship. What will be next? Shall we remove the phrase "In God we trust" from our currency too? Did the forefathers of this nation not build this land upon the solid rock of God? Was religion not the reason for the many to flee from their lands and seek refuge and freedom in America? God and religion is not a part of the problem, it is a part of the solution. God created mankind in love and peace, thus He desires for mankind to live in love and peace. For He is a God of reconciliation, not a God of war and terrene. It is human ambition and greed that leads to war, not God's ambivalence.
The Great Teacher and Messenger of God, Jesus taught us many things while He was with us. Amongst some of the most important lessons was the lesson of humility, where in a dispute the first step both sides need to take is to recognize their own failures. It is only when we are truthful to ourselves that we are not blind. This lesson is encapsulated in Christ's words to His apostles, "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" (Mathew 7:3). And another lesson as equally important is, "But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, "(Mathew 5:44), and He reminded us to "turn the other cheek."
No doubt all these principles sound rather idealistic, difficult, and would require much discipline, but again it is not impossible. For with God, if we choose to stay with God, nothing is impossible. Though the road may be hard to travel there is no doubt that these principles and others like it can bring peace a little closer to the conflicting nations in the Middle East, just as it would to all fighting nations elsewhere in our world. We wish peace towards one another and God is showing us the way to that peace. The answers to a more complete and whole life is in the Bible. We all just have to continue reading it, referring to it, and learning from it. No matter our skin color, citizenship, or choice of worship we all want the same things, and one of those element is peace. We're not that much different underneath our skin.
[May those who are working towards peace in the Middle East and elsewhere in our world continue to be guided by the Light of righteousness so that they may have the courage and strength to continue on the harder but truer path to eternal peace. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.]
My name is Mai-Anh Le. I'm a 35 year old Catholic woman who's currently suffering from a complicated case of chronic lyme disease though I am healing. Before this illness I was an mechanical engineer for NASA. I loved my work and the things I was able to do, but the lyme has changed much of my lif