The Missing Peace

July 17, 2016 No Comments »
The Missing Peace

By David Faust

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 3.26.19 PMWhere can you find the missing peace? Ballgames, movies, and vacations can’t fill the void. Political parties clamor for attention and seek our votes, but government leaders can’t guarantee peace. Jobs keep us busy, but surveys report widespread dissatisfaction among American workers. Entertainment distracts us, but it doesn’t fulfill us. Church involvement is good, but religious activity alone doesn’t produce the completeness, soundness, and all-around well-being the Hebrews called shalom.

Peace isn’t a philosophy; it’s a person. We receive it as a gift; we don’t earn it with hard work and good intentions. “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1), and peace with God is the foundation for every other kind of lasting peace. That’s why the shalom story of Christ winds like a golden thread throughout the Bible.

The Coming Peace-Giver

In the Old Testament he’s the woman’s seed who will crush the serpent’s head—the fulfillment of God’s promised blessings to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He’s the Lion of Judah, the prophet like Moses, the hope-giving offspring of faithful Ruth.

In Psalms he’s the Good Shepherd who leads by still waters. In Isaiah he’s the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. In Jeremiah he’s the balm of Gilead. In Daniel he’s the fourth man in the fiery furnace. In Jonah he’s the one given up for dead who comes back alive three days later. In Micah he’s the ruler born in Bethlehem who will shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord and “will be our peace” (Micah 5:5). In Zechariah he’s the humble King riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. In Malachi he’s the sun of righteousness who rises with healing in his wings.

The Messianic Reconciler

In the Gospels he’s the friend of scorned sinners, the healer of broken bodies, and the teacher of hungry minds. He’s the challenger of the status quo, the uplifter of the beaten down, the enabler of the weak, the ennobler of the shamed. He’s the miracle worker and prophecy fulfiller, the suffering servant and the model leader, the sacrificial Lamb and the risen Lord.

His enemies tried to destroy him, his followers struggled to understand him, and Satan tried to defeat him, but Jesus persevered. Peter fumbled for words but finally said of him, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Thomas wrestled with doubt but finally fell at his feet and exclaimed, “My Lord and my God.” Pilate found no fault in him, and the centurion at his crucifixion recognized that he surely was the Son of God. Saul of Tarsus hated him until the risen Christ confronted him and transformed the proud Pharisee into a devoted Christ follower.

Christ is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Yesterday his death and resurrection changed history. Today he stands tall as the head of his church. Tomorrow he will remain the focus of our message, the centerpiece of our fellowship, and the host at his weekly table. He’s the motivator of our mission, the final authority over our decisions, the reconciler and unifier of his people. He’s the King of kings and Lord of lords, and Christ himself is our shalom.

In him we find the peace that passes understanding.

David Faust serves as the Associate Minister at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Based on International Sunday School Lesson, © 2012, by the Lesson Committee. Scripture quotations are from the New International Version ©2011, unless otherwise indicated.

Daily Readings

July 18

M.

Isaiah 40:27-31

Hope in God

July 19

T.

Isaiah 52:7-12

Redeemed in God

July 20

W.

Isaiah 54:9-14

Safe in God

July 21

T.

Jeremiah 29:10-14

Restored in God

July 22

F.

Psalm 42

Help in God

July 23

S.

Matthew 12:15-21

Fulfilled in God

July 24

S.

Romans 5:1-11

Not Without Hope

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