Wednesday, December 25, 2013

"Peace on Earth?"

You've got to be kidding, right? It's sure not exactly the thing that reaches out and grabs you when you survey the world today. Everywhere you look there seems to be an overwhelming abundance of the opposite.

I could say amen to the words of the song that says, "Then in despair I bowed my head, there is NO peace on earth I said, for hate is strong and mocks the song, of peace on earth, goodwill to men".

 Why oh why, since we're so ever-increasingly evolved and so dreadfully smart, why can't we just all get along? Where is the promised "peace" that this long awaited Prince of Peace was supposed to bring?

You see the absence of it among the nations. Here recently, China claims some uninhabited islands and the air space above them as their own. The next day or two the U.S., Japan, and South Korea all fly planes through the area just for spite. Reminds me of adolescent boys on the school playground jostling over a line in the sand.

Recently I spent some time looking thru a bunch of photos of the conflict in Syria. 100,000 killed so far with multitudes displaced and living as refugees. The photos mostly showed the "brave"soldiers, aiming their rifles out thru the holes of the bombed out buildings.

The ones I was thinking mostly about were the children. Huddled somewhere living in constant fear of when the next bomb will drop. I can hardly stand to think about it, it's so far beyond sad. It seems that the innocent are always the ones who have to suffer the most. 

Peace on earth? Definitely not in Syria. And we could go around the globe; it's reeling chock full of sadness and unrest. And one of the saddest things is the percentage of terrible things that go on in the name of religion. And the saddest of all is when supposed followers of this Jesus, the "Prince of Peace", take up violence to defend or promote their cause.

Of course, some say religion is the cause of our dilemma. If we'd all be atheists we'd have our problems solved. Nah, I doubt it. Or some say get rid of all the arms and weaponry. Nah again; we'd probably just go back to beating each other up with clubs like cave men. And anybody knows it's drastically more civilized to blow somebody up at a distance than it is to crack their skull open from three feet away.

I've  been reading in Isaiah the last while. A whole lot of it is big-time gloom and doom. Reminds me a great deal of what could be said of our world today. But then every so often, when it seems the gloom and doom just can't get any darker, here comes a blazing flash of holy light!

For example, here's how chap. 8 is ending. "Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom"... Sounds pretty much like the evening news, doesn't it?

But go on to chap.9-"Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a  light has dawned! (exclamation point mine) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on HIS shoulders (can't wait!), of the increase of HIS government and peace there will be NO END, establishing and upholding it with JUSTICE and RIGHTEOUSNESS from that time on and FOREVER." 

And from Is. 2-" He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples, they will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore."

It seems obvious to me that this Prince of Peace, who came as a babe, has some unfinished business. What a comfort to know there is someone with enough power to set all the wrong things right.

But what do we do until then? I mean, you and I aren't going to change the world. The nations aren't going to pay us one lick of attention.

But there is one small thing that we can do. We can make our hearts a place where the Prince of Peace can set up his throne. That will make each of us a Peaceful Kingdom of One; shedding just a little bit of wonderful light into the oppressive darkness. There's no greater calling.

                                                                                   Until the Prince takes over,