Musings: Praying For World Peace

Image from 4THALUV's Blog

Image from 4THALUV’s Blog

It’s Easter, and a lot of my Catholic and Episcopalian friends are in church for the week, praying for world peace (along with other things, one presumes).

So I’m going to talk about peace today. Only since I’m Protestant, I’m going to talk about it slightly differently.

Essentially, Christmas (my favourite holiday) and Easter (2nd favourite- yup, I’m that predictable) are all about peace. It’s not, however, the sort of peace that you may be thinking about. Christmas and Easter are inextricably linked together: the one celebrating the birth of God in the form of a man, the other commemorating the death of Christ on the cross. The main link between the two is Christ. Well- obviously, I suppose. Christ is born (Christmas) and Christ is killed and rises again (Easter).

The other link between the two is the idea of peace.

When Adam sinned, both as a single man and as the head of the entire human race, we all fell with him- following our representative head. Thus, from then forward, every human born was born in sin, and at enmity with God: because how can a truly just and righteous God permit sin? If He did, He wouldn’t be righteous or just, nor would He be God. “For the wages of sin is death”¹ and somebody has to pay that price.

But because He is a God of mercy also, He made a way for  His justice to be satisfied; and in so doing, His mercy was shown as the great godlike quality that it is. Thus, when Christ is born, the angels sing: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”²

The angels aren’t talking about men loving their fellow men, here. That’s a good thing, but it’s not what they’re talking about. The angels are rejoicing that at last, on earth, there is “God in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself”.³ God becomes man, being born as a human; and as a human (and mankind’s other representative head), dies to pay the wages of sin. God’s justice is meted out on God himself, so that God can extend peace and forgiveness to sinners like me.

Since this is Resurrection Sunday, no Easter blog post would be complete without mentioning the resurrection. Christ rose again from the dead, alive and changed, because His sacrifice had proved acceptable and fully covered all of those for whom He died.

There’s peace to be had from Easter and Christmas, but it’s not the sort of peace that’s usually peddled this time of year. It’s a better peace. It’s “God in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself”. It’s the peace of knowing that the divine justice of an angry God has been appeased by that God Himself, and that if we accept “the gift of God, in Jesus Christ our Lord,”¹ we can be reconciled to God. His peace has been extended to us.

So, this Easter, I’ll be praying for peace on earth, goodwill toward men.

 

{1} Romans 6:23

{2} Luke 2:14

{3} 2 Corinthians 5:19

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