I was in college during the great “peace” demonstrations of the late 60’s and early 70’s. Many of those demonstrations were not very peaceful. Two significant moments in the age of that movement came first at the Chicago Democratic National Convention and then two years later at Kent State University. Those events ended up changing American politics and then the American perception of the war. The tragic violence brought change, but it did not bring peace.
The prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel had head to head confrontations with the false prophets of their day who were proclaiming, “Peace, peace”. They told the people that those false prophets had not been sent by God. Anyone coming along and proclaiming that they can bring peace is not telling the truth. This world is a place of sin and the deeds of the sinful flesh include, “hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambition envy and murders.” That is just the short list that God made of our nature. We act out what is in the inside of us, and that isn’t a pretty concoction.
But there is hope! When the angels came to the shepherds they sang, “Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth, good will to men.” The angels could proclaim peace because the Prince of Peace had been born. In Zacharias’ prophecy in Luke 1 he says that the way of peace was coming. Jesus promised His disciples, both them and us, that He would give us peace. Paul declared in Romans 5 that we now have peace with God and in Philippians 4 that we can have peace that passes understanding. Someday the heavens will open and Christ will descend and bring true peace on earth.
All this is wrapped up in the joy of the Advent. What men wanted and could not produce would be wrought by God. It is His joy to bring us peace on earth. Right now that peace comes one person at a time as they accept God’s Advent gift of His Son. We can rejoice in that present peace and be confident that He will fulfill the entire promise of peace when He sends His Son again.
Wonderful, wonderful promise of peace in the Advent God has declared
Wonderful peace through the gift of His Son in a new life now He’s prepared
Wonderful song that the angels have sung, a song of true joy and true peace
Wonderful promise the Father has wrought, the peace, peace that never will cease