John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
As we begin to prepare our hearts for Advent, a season of anticipating the Messiah, it might be hard to because of everything going on. There’s so much pain all over the world. And I don’t want to be another voice that’s trying to be known in this situation. There have been many trying to capitalize on this, so the last thing I want to do is to use the tragedies in the world in order to talk about the biblical/Christian thing to do in __________. I’m leaving this blank open because as I write this, surely something else will happen. I don’t want to sound pessimistic. I’m simply saying that this world is getting worse. As soon as this becomes resolved, another tragedy will strike.
What are we to do when these things continue to happen? What is the Christian response to tragedies?
I honestly lack the words to convey how frustrated I am with the way in which people are treated as issues. I lack the words to say how un-Christian it is for us to turn deaths into politics. To let party lines determine our conscience. To listen to political leaders’ stances on this situation and immediately toe the line. With shootings in America and abroad, with wars and rumors of wars, with displaced people, and so forth…
Let us instead respond with peace. This peace that surpasses all understanding. This peace that comes from being in the presence of God. Look at how Jesus describes it. “Peace I leave you; my peace…”
It’s Jesus’ peace that is given to us in the midst of tragedy. And our Christian response is to be people of the peace.
This peace is not of this world. It is only from Jesus. Our response to the stuff that happens in this world that disrupt the peace is to bring people to Jesus so that they might experience this peace. Our ultimate role as people of peace in the midst of chaos is to be spiritual companions. We aren’t there to save them from their turmoil. We aren’t there to solve their problems (though, we might think that we can…)
As people of the peace, we don’t offer our words. We point them to a person.
Our jobs is to point them to Jesus. Point them to the Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6-7 For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His authority shall grow continually,
and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time onward and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
He is our Shalom. He is the one we are waiting for, the one our hearts want this Advent season.
Not an idea. Not a political theory. Not empty words.
He is Jesus.