My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. I follow the readings and journaling from lifejournal.me. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Peace on Earth
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
(John 13:34 NASB)
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
(John 13:35 NASB)
The other day I was struck by particular portion of the Christmas
story. The heavenly host comes and visits the shepherds and this is
what they say:
Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
In a nutshell this is the ushering in of a new era where the greatest
commandment will be foundational for all. Love God -- "Glory to God in
the highest" -- and love your neighbor "peace on earth." The heavenly
host was announcing it that very evening.
Fast forward about thirty three years and we find Jesus visiting with
his disciples on the night when He is going to be arrested. He
reiterates the second portion of this command -- "and on earth peace
among those whom he favors." Jesus just happens to say it this way --
"love one another." That certainly says it, doesn't it? How do we have
peace on earth without loving one another?
I spent much of the day yesterday on airplanes. When I travel I
often pray and ask the Lord to allow me to be open to His divine
promptings of meetings with individuals along the way. Standing in line for the lavatory a gentleman
began talking to me - -just making small talk. Where had I been --
what was I doing? He'd been in South Africa for a funeral. Somehow he
was a bit bored with the long flight and thought a discussion about
religion would be nice so after getting out of the lavatory he tracked
me down for quite a lengthy conversation. While being raised Roman
Catholic he really did not have any personal faith. He was disturbed by
the state of the world around him and wanted to know that if God were
really real, wouldn't He have decided that enough was enough and it was time
to simply intervene in the world and call a halt to all evil. Why would
God just not step in and do something?
I countered with the fact that God is doing something and is actively
engaged in changing the world, because God lives in us, His followers
and we are God intervening in the world. He kept telling me that there
were a billion Roman Catholics in the world and yet it's not changing
anything. But here's the question -- it's not about religion, but about
being Christ in the world. Truly if all of those who claim to be
Christians would "love one another" -- there would be "peace on earth!"
I think that is our challenge this Christmas season, and all year
round. The cry for the future was spoken by the heavenly host. Jesus
kept reiterating it with His followers. Today, we are to be Christ to
our world, loving one another bringing His peace.
I challenged this man to think about his faith in a different way. What did he have to offer God. He said he was very wealthy. So, I asked him what he might be able to do with his wealth to help bring "peace on earth." We discussed what Bill Gates and his wife do with their money. He went away a bit quiet and I hope that he may have been challenged about his personal responsibility to bring peace to earth. So, this Christmas season, may we all ask God to help us to love one another and help to usher in that "peace on earth" with the same hopeful optimism that the heavenly host revealed that night so long ago.
Lord, I pray for Your love and Your peace to cover this world! Amen.