Let There be Peace on Earth!

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” (Luke 2:13-14 NRSV).

I was born in 1958, making me a child of the 1960s. The 60s were turbulent times for the United States of America. We experienced the battle for civil rights with its victories and its horrors. Then, the Vietnam war tore the fabric of the nation and sacrificed far too many lives. There were protests, rallies, and riots. And, sadly, the assassinations of those who were voices for change - John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Robert Kennedy. One might ask, what happened to peace on earth in the 60s?

I also experienced a turbulent family life during the 60s. Early to mid-decade, my father began showing signs of paranoid schizophrenia. By the decade’s end, my mother and I fled our home to protect our lives – finding refuge with my grandparents. They were faithful disciples of Jesus on whom God had shown His favor. As a result, their home was a place of peace on earth for us. In that home, the seeds of faith were planted in my life.

One might ask, what happened to peace on earth in 2020? Far too many are suffering due to the political tensions, racial tensions, and the pandemic alone. Many are facing the loss of family members or struggling with health issues. Others are facing problems in their careers, finances, marriages, and/or their emotional health. Too many are feeling “weary and burdened,” not finding “rest for their souls” (Matt.11:28). As Christians, we have the opportunity to offer “peace on earth” to those who are weary and burdened. Just as my grandparent’s home of faith provided a safe place of refuge, we too, as people of faith, can do the same.

Where will your neighbor, co-worker, family member, fellow Christian, or friend find peace on earth this season and in the year to come? The adversary has been working overtime to divide, create tension, and cast those with whom we differ as the enemy. He would have us become proud and arrogant in our dealings with one another instead of being a people of humility, grace, and peace (1 Peter 5:5-11). Let us not become entangled in affairs that are not pleasing to God (2 Tim. 2:4). And may we have nothing to do with foolish and ignorant controversies that only breed quarrels (2 Tim. 2:23-25). But, let us be true to our calling as peacemakers – as shalom-makers (Matt. 5:9).

As we close this year and begin a new one, could we sing a song together that was recorded by Vince Gill, one of our family’s favorites – Let There be Peace on Earth.

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me
Let There Be Peace on Earth
The peace that was meant to be
With God as our Father
Brothers all are we
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now.
With every step I take
Let this be my solemn vow
To take each moment and live
Each moment in peace eternally
Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me

Songwriters: Jill Jackson / Sy Miller
Let There Be Peace on Earth lyrics © Mccg LLC

Click here for the Vince Gill recording on YouTube:

Article written by John Teal, December 18, 2020

John Teal serves on the Board of Directors of Common Grounds Unity. John and Danna live in Simi Valley, CA with their two daughters Michelle and Jessica. John has a B.S. in Biblical Studies from Central Christian College of the Bible in Moberly, Missouri.

Read more CGU articles from may others who love and support greater unity with in the Stone Campbell heritage at www.commongroundsunity.org/media/articles