FRIDAY: PEACE by Holly Yinger

SCRIPTURE: Luke 1:67-80

Here we find the prophecy of Zechariah, which declares John the Baptist a prophet, a mouthpiece of God who will declare the good news of salvation to the world. Zechariah says that John’s words and life will guide us into the way of peace. And John’s words and life fulfill the prophecy as he guides us to Christ, the way of peace.

And then on a night in the city of Bethlehem, when Christ was born to be with us in human form, the angels announced the fulfillment of this truth. “Peace! Peace on earth!” It’s here.

But how? In Christ. In Christ we find our relationship with the Father restored. When there is peace in this relationship, everything else aligns. In Christ, we are reminded of all that unites in a world that constantly makes a point of declaring all that divides. In Christ, we are reminded of who we have been created by and how we are created to be. In Christ, we can finally silence the endless plea for ‘more’. In Christ, we learn the difference between justice and revenge. In Christ, we see a way that values the self without being selfish. In Christ, we find our righteousness, which is best understood as right-relatedness, rather than perfection. In Christ, we find redemption and restoration and re-creation. In Christ, we find wholeness of being. In Christ, we find a transformation of peace not just in our own lives and minds and hearts, but a way of walking in peace in a world where disharmony, restlessness and worry abound. In Christ, we find the way of peace.

Sarah Bessey writes, “I believe in creating peace, in disrupting for peace, in the truth that peace isn’t always polite and it certainly isn’t status quo and it isn’t always cozy with twinkle lights and it will make people uncomfortable because they’re so used to benefiting from the lack of it.”

Peacemaking can be uncomfortable business. When I think of John the Baptist, I want to think that we could be friends. But in reality, he would make me terribly uncomfortable. The text says that John the Baptist ‘grew and became strong in spirit and he was in the wilderness until the day of his appearance in Israel.’ He was wild by the world’s standards. But this locust eating, honey licking, wild specimen of a man had wandered and walked in the wilderness with God for this purpose. The entirety of his days were spent preparing himself in the wilderness to
prepare the hearts of the world to receive Christ. He taught us that we live the way of peace when we learn that our lives are not all about us. We learn the way of peace when our lives become instead about making great the name of Christ.

God, we thank you for Your peace.
We thank You for the peace that You have given to us though we were undeserving.
Because You first loved us, we can now go and do likewise.
We can go forth and love the world with Your transforming love, deserved or not.

Josh Kleinfeld