20th June 2013

Peace? What Peace?

 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth.
I did not come to bring peace but a sword.”
Matthew 10:34 (NKJV)

There’s no question that violence around the world has ramped up during the last few months. At home and abroad we have individuals, groups, even nations, threatening to take the law into their own hands to get what they want by force.

Abroad, we have unrest in Spain, Portugal, Greece, France, Germany, North Korea and Turkey, just to name a few.  At home, there’s a move to curb, just to mention one group, the Underground workers’ strikes, which are seen by our government to be approaching blackmail.

There seems so much violence around. If you remember that wonderful film, The Day the Earth Stood Still, with Michael Rennie as the alien come to earth to assess us: at one point he says of us that we are a planet of people constantly at war with each other. And that must not be allowed to spread out into the galaxy and beyond. The solution? Destroy us. Which always seemed to me rather to miss the point. Surely that is violence, too?

And every night on the television there is more murder and mayhem, real and simulated. Even the nightly news is becoming an ‘X’-rated programme by itself, with all of the attacks shown in graphic detail in Afghanistan, Syria and elsewhere. Go to other news channels and you’ll find there are plenty of other conflicts around the world which our domestic news channels do not cover.

And so it seems incongruous to me that the major religions and philosophies that dominate our world profess that theirs is the only real way to peace and stability—as long as, that is, you do it our way. For Christians, Jesus may be known as the Prince of Peace, but at his first coming he said that he had not come to bring peace, rather conflict. I think he alone got it right. That’s where we are—in the midst of conflict. It becomes all the more important therefore that we, his followers, practice reconciliation and peace among ourselves, as he urged us, and that he left as our legacy from him (John 14:27; 16:33). We should show that to be the major factor driving our lives—lives of peace. It’s not easy, and it’s going to get more and more difficult as time goes by, I predict.

Holy Father, we live in a world drowning in violence and destruction. We seek your help to live as you would have us live—beacons of peace and reconciliation. It’s only possible for us with your help. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by John Stettaford


johnstettafordAbout the Author:
John Stettaford is an Elder in the Reading Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Reading
Prospect School, 6th Form Common Room
Honey End Lane
RG30 4EL

Meeting time:
Saturday 11am

Local Congregational Contact:
John Stettaford
Phone:  01923-241426
Email: pastor@wcg-reading.org.uk

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