Actively making peace

Actively making peace

November 30, 2021

By Rev. Ron Carlson, District Superintendent of the Clear Lake Camp District

Peace is often thought of as being free from disturbance, or as a state of tranquility. When we talk about biblical peace, we are often talking about the Hebrew word for peace: Shalom. Shalom goes far beyond a simple definition, shalom is, in essence, a slice of heaven. Shalom is the ideal, it’s a return to God’s original creation, untouched by sin.

A child is born to us, a son is given to us, and authority will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be vast authority and endless peace for David’s throne and for his kingdom, establishing and sustaining it with justice and righteousness now and forever.
—Isaiah 9:6-7 (CEB)


We read in our most recent Book of Resolutions that “God’s earth is aching for peace. Domestic strife, interpersonal violence and abuse, civil conflict, ethnic and racial clashes, religious schism and interfaith rivalry, terrorist attacks, wars between nations, and threatened use of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons—all of these prevent us from achieving God’s shalom. In response, we who are disciples of Jesus Christ are called to be peacemakers for the transformation of the world.”

This is not a simple task; it is one where we need the help of Jesus and each other. When we join a local United Methodist Church, we pledge we will faithfully participate in its ministries by our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness. Joining the church is not just a ritual to get our names on a list, but it is a promise to take an active part in the reign of God. As United Methodists, we believe that wherever God's will is done, the kingdom of God is present. It is the now and the not yet, it was present in Jesus' ministry, and it is also present in our world whenever persons and communities experience reconciliation, restoration, and healing.

And so, as we reflect on God’s peace this Advent season, may we be reminded of our role: to actively make peace as we await the fullness of God’s shalom.  Advent is the perfect time to commit to pursuing peace as we look ahead to the time of shalom. How can you help usher in God’s peace this season? You and your family or small group could: help out with a hunger ministry, adopt a family that would not be able to celebrate Christmas otherwise, invite a stranger to share a meal with you, volunteer at a shelter, give gifts in the name of family and friends that help others or by just simply doing something to help others in Christ’s name.

Let us pray: God of peace, help us to bring your Shalom to this world. Where we can be a part of your Kingdom on earth. Give us the power and insights to be peacemakers to transform the world. Amen.
 
Read all the Advent Devotions →