11th November 2016

The Message of Peace  

Why will you die, people of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!”
Ezekiel 18:31-32 (NIVUK)
 

The famous writer, Vera Brittain, was a nurse during World War One. Her brother, Edward, was on the frontline of the fighting in Italy, and in 1918 Vera wrote a poem dedicated to him. Part of it reads, Your battle-wounds are scars upon my heart. Four days later Edward died in action, and his sister carried with her the sadness and emptiness of his death for the rest of her life.

What does God think about war and the casualties of warfare? The prophet Ezekiel discusses this several times as he pleads with Israel to turn to God and to stop the acts that lead to war and death. He explains that God takes no pleasure in the death of any one. God’s intent, Ezekiel states, is to “make a covenant of peace with them” (37:26), and reassured them and, through his words also reassures us today, that the hope of and for the dead lies in the resurrection to come (see Ezekiel 37:1-12).

We might like to think that the world has changed for the better since the end of the First World War, but we know it hasn’t. World War Two, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Arab-Israeli wars, Afghanistan, etc, – we can list so many, and right now we have the terrible conflict in Syria. God’s view of the futility of war has not changed. “Why should you die?”, he pleads. He detests the suffering of war. Don’t you know there’s a better way?

That better way is to accept the message of peace brought through Jesus Christ. The apostle Peter expounded this idea in Acts 10:36, “You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.” 

Prayer
Father, thank you for the covenant of peace that is your son, Jesus, and we pray for his return that our ways of war may be over. Help us please, in the meantime, to be your peacemakers and take peace with us wherever we go. In Jesus’ name.
Amen

Study by James Henderson

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bible1About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations in the UK and Ireland. This week James is speaking in our Watford church.

For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Contact:
james.henderson@gracecom.church Or email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

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