Are You At Peace?
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called ... Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6, NIV)
A traditional greeting of the Oneida people is Skenakoka. Loosely translated, it means, “Are you at peace?” The greeting conveys the universal desire of all nations that one’s friends and acquaintances be “at peace.”
Peace is a quality that is missing across cultures. Nations are at war, neighbors feud, families fight and many relationships are filled with conflict. Christians recognize that our biggest problem is that we are not “at peace” with our Creator. Our sinfulness, inherited from our ancestors, and our own thoughts and actions have separated us from God. The conflict that we experience in this world is a painful reminder that we are not at peace.
In the season of Advent, we rejoice that God did something about this fact. His Son, born a child in Bethlehem, came to bring us peace. This Prince of Peace who gave His life on the cross for our violence and inhospitality came specifically so that we could be healed, forgiven and restored. In His death and resurrection, we have the forgiveness and peace with God that we all need and desire.
As representatives of the Prince of Peace, we are called to share the Good News of Jesus’ birth and His death and resurrection for each of us. This involves the sharing of Jesus’ peace with those in our family and even with our enemies. The Advent season provides an opportunity to share the story of our God who loves us so much that He sent us the gift of the Prince of Peace.
I challenge you today to identify someone with whom you are “not at peace.” Pray for them. Seek an opportunity to share the forgiveness and the abundant life that is given by our Prince of Peace.
I praise You, heavenly Father, for sending Your Son as our Prince of Peace. Thank You that You have made us at peace with You. Empower me to share that peace with others. Especially I pray for _____ and ask for an opportunity to make peace with them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
- Rev. Mark Schumm, Oneida, Wisconsin
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