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peace - 2nd week of Advent

When diplomats talk they often reference “conditions that make for peace,” or some similar phrase.

We live in a culture that fervently believes peace can be negotiated. That systems can be put in place which will break down the obstacles to peace: injustice, lack of access to resources or opportunities, bigotry, selfishness. Historically, however, peace has seldom been achieved through negotiation. Occasionally a kind-of-peace has been won via conflict; sometimes with great violence—as in 1945. But other times with less violence—America's fight for civil rights and South Africa’s overthrow of Apartheid.
But is peace simply the absence of conflict? If it is, then the peace of the grave can be an achievement. 

In the Bible peace is much deeper than a lack of conflict, and it doesn't result from our environment. When Jesus offered peace, He described it as a peace this world can neither give nor take from you. From a Nazi prison Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “One feels a tremendous longing for real peace, in which all the misery and injustice, the lying and cowardice will come to an end.” Easter Day 1945, hearing American artillery in the distance, he wrote that peace was coming. Less than a month later, the day the Nazis executed him, Bonhoeffer penned the words of a friend, “Let us go calmly to the gallows as Christians.”

To have that kind of out-of-this-world peace you’ll need to say Martin Luther King’s kind of prayer. “Ah, dearest Jesus, make Thee a bed, soft and undefiled, within my heart, that it may be a quiet chamber kept for Thee.” ~

Merry Christmas,
Dan Nygaard