Last month, we celebrated the birth of an icon that has become more than a household wordit has become a household decoration. Now admit ithow many of you had a peace symbol painted on your Volkswagen bus, or wore one around your neck, or had a psychedelic Day-Glo poster of one illuminated by a black light on your bedroom wall? Yes, that ubiquitous child of the baby boomer years, the peace symbol, turned 50 last month.
The '60s were a time of anything but peace. The war in Vietnam raged, the civil rights movement took away Dr. Martin Luther King's right to life, peace officers shot protesters, and students wearing tie-dyed peace symbol tee shirts burned college buildings. Something wasn't right.
All the attempts that have been made for millennia to bring peace to the world haven't worked. "Let's talk." "Let's give." "Let's take." "Let's invade." "Let's pull out." Just about everything has been tried, to no avail. There are more wars going on now than there ever have been. With apologies to John Lennon, we gave peace a chance.
Peace has eluded the nations and, if we take careful note, we can see that peace has also eluded the people of every nation. Suicides, violent crime, divorce, abortion, greedthese are not exactly peace symbols. Yet they have become just as ubiquitous in our generation as the little symbol with the broken cross that cried for peace.
We, as a society, celebrate our efforts at peace by honoring the heroes of war on Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, and Armed Forces Day, and well we should. It is ironic that the philosophy of our military establishment is "Peace through Strength." Seems like we really don't expect true peace.
Our title, The Peace Core, is not a misprint. It is a call to examine the true source, or core, of the peace we all long for. It is found in the Bible.
World peace is too much for us as individuals to achieve. But every one of us can realize inner peace, that elusive calm that shows its absence when we let our guard down. World peace will not come until the globe is populated by people with inner peace.
True inner peace only comes through a right relationship to God. Augustine said, "Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee." God says, "'There is no peace,' says the Lord, 'for the wicked'" (Isaiah 48:22). It is sin that keeps us from peace with ourselves and with God. Until that peace treaty is signed, nothing else will create that peace. We can mask it with work, play or even love, but we can't manufacture it ourselves.
Jesus Christ is the Great Negotiator. "And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven" (Colossians 1:20, KJV). By the mightiest, most violent of acts, broken on an upright cross, Jesus made peace with God for us. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1, KJV).
Listen to the promise of the Prince of Peace: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to 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, NKJV). How comforting in a world that is restless as the stormy sea.
So, what about world peace? Will we ever achieve it? No, WE won't. But God will. After Jesus Christ returns to restore all things and gather those who have trusted him, "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away" (Revelation 21:4, NKJV). People will no longer "pass away"only the threats of sorrow and want will die. Jesus is the core of peace.
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