The Christmas season is here! And for many, the tagline of Christmas was first declared by an army of angels before some bewildered shepherds. This heavenly chorus said:

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, 
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14).

This theme is picked up in the famous Christmas carol – I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. The song’s refrain is: Of peace on earth, goodwill to men!

Peace. It’s a dream of this special time of the year. It’s something we all long for. It’s something the world desperately needs!

Last week I read this verse; it’s a blessing. I love this blessing. I encourage you to read this repeatedly. It’s found in Romans 15:13 – 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, 
so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

That’s the blessing I wish for you now and every day of the year. May God’s Spirit fill you with joy and peace. And that joy and peace are available to us to the extent that we trust him. It’s by the power of the Holy Spirit that hope can overflow that arises from joy and peace. 

Peace is also part of the fruit of the Spirit. It’s the Spirit who produces peace in us. Don’t you want to experience God’s Spirit creating his peace in you? Join us this Sunday as we look carefully at another fruit of the Spirit – peace.

Glen Elliott

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Peace, for many, is now a pipe dream (sorry for the drug culture connotation). The hostility, incivility, hate, violence, and polarization is so prolific that the idea of folks choosing peace seems ludacris. We are in a series we call Peacemakers. The Bible is clear that as followers of Jesus, we are to be peacemakers. 

  • Jesus calls us to be peacemakers – Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God (Matthew 5:9). He goes on to instruct us to reconcile and settle matters quickly (Matthew 5:23-26) and to love and pray for those who seek to do us harm (Matthew 5:43-48). 
  • The Apostle Paul instructs to be diligent to make peace – If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:18). Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification (Romans 14:19). He’s pretty clear, isn’t he?!
  • Jesus’ brother, James, offers a promise to peacemakers – Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness (James 3:18).
  • And finally, a command in Hebrews 12:14 – Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

There’s a group that is being led by the wife of my good friend from high school and college days – Lisa Jernigan. She leads a group called Amplified Peace. They specialize in bringing peace to places all around the world that are in conflict and chaos. They provide an incredibly practical list of the Principles of a Peacemaker: 

  1. We seek to understand before being understood.
  2. We humbly listen and learn, not sit in judgment.
  3. We enter into open dialog, not debates.
  4. We frame questions respectfully.
  5. We respect each other’s unique journey and perspective.
  6. We honor relationships over the need to be right.
  7. We believe we are engaging in a story bigger than ourselves.

May we stand on truth, justice, and righteousness AND be peacemakers! May we more and more practice the principles of a peacemaker. More than ever, our world needs peacemakers. Following the way of Jesus, we can make a difference!

Glen Elliott

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