Peace on earth

I don’t like conflict. I took a personality profiling course at the last writing workshop I attended and discovered that I’m what folks call a Feeler, which means I like it when others get along. Conflict stresses me out. I don’t really have anxiety attacks, but the closest I’ve come to one is trying to handle situations where people aren’t getting along.

Granted, some people thrive on conflict. It’s the spice of life for them. But about 50% of the population are Feelers, according to what I’ve been told. So the vast majority of people out there don’t like conflict either.

This is the time of year people start singing about peace on earth. They sing about it. They talk about wanting it. Even at my office, one of my coworkers put up a white board with the question: “What do you want for Christmas?” Someone responded: “Peace on Earth.” Everybody wants it, and it’s a great thing to want. But no one really seems to realize what it will take to achieve.

Lights on the Christmas tree at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Lights on the Christmas tree at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Today’s verse is 2 Corinthians 5:18.

And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.

I love the word reconcile. I was thinking about it this weekend when we sang “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” at church. There’s a certain lyric in that song that always makes me tear up:

Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled

The word itself is just fun to say. I don’t know. I’m a word freak so maybe that’s just me, but the word means so much more than its syllables and etymology. It dates back to the 1300s:

re – which means “again”
concilare – which means “to make friendly”

To make friendly again.

So if you think about it from the context of the song, “God and sinners reconciled” means that at one point, God and men were friends until something happened to split them apart. But then everything changed when this little baby was born, and this little baby the angels are singing about is the one who will reconcile God and men. He’s the one who will make God and men friends again.

The same is true of today’s verse.

And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.

God brought us back to himself through Christ. God reconciled us to Himself through Christ. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross allowed us to become friends with God again, after our first parents Adam and Eve chose to turn away from Him.

But not only has God reconciled us to Him, He’s given us the responsibility to help others be reconciled too.

Because let’s be honest here. Who really loves conflict? Who loves being conflicted and pulled in different directions? Yes, some people enjoy the challenge that conflict represents, but who really lives and breathes because of it? Who doesn’t want peace, not only with others but with God?

We weren’t designed to live in conflict, not with each other and not with God either. We were designed to live in peace, and we screwed it up. But thanks to Christ, we don’t have to stay that way. We can be friends with God again. We just have to go through Christ.

How do you do that? You ask for forgiveness. You recognize that you’re not perfect and that you’ve made wrong choices and you take responsibility for that and ask Christ to forgive you. You recognize that Christ is the Savior, the only One.

You want peace on Earth? Be reconciled. And maybe that won’t bring peace on Earth, per se, but it will bring peace between you and God. And God will take care of Earth. You just need to take care of your own heart first.

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2 Comments

  1. Excellent. I use the word “reconcile” nearly every day in my work and never thought of the connection with Christ. May find it hard to continue without thinking of it this way.

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