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Is ‘Peace on Earth’ possible?

12 Dec

A few weeks ago I attended an inter-faith Thanksgiving service where people from all over Indianapolis (of very different faiths) gathered to express gratitude together.  We aren’t talking “inter-faith” as in Baptists and Methodists rubbing shoulders.  We are talking about a gathering of Christians, Catholics, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikh, Jewish and Hindu people.  How do people who worship so differently find a way to worship together??  I quickly found out.

The printed program contained English interpretations of the prayers and songs that were presented in other languages, so we didn’t feel completely lost during certain portions of the program. And I don’t mind telling you, there were moments when the various forms of worship pushed the envelope on my comfort zone. But in spite of the obvious differences, I was moved by the courageous effort being made in my city to create an opportunity for people of all kinds of faith to look one another in the eye, to celebrate our freedom and express gratitude.  But mostly just to be civil and remember that we are all human beings who are simply trying to follow what we believe is right.

This powerful experience kept bringing one phrase to the forefront of my mind and heart – a phrase we use often around the holidays yet possibly forget to ponder fully. When the angels appeared to a group of shepherd on a hillside outside Bethlehem centuries ago, from their praise came the proclamation of “Peace on earth and goodwill toward men.” There could be no better outcome from Christ’s presence on earth! But it is going to take people of every faith and every walk of life being willing to place more emphasis on being kind than on being right.

There is freedom in knowing that our job as humans is not to be judges of one another. There is also freedom in knowing that  Jesus loved people who didn’t have everything right.  He had no choice. Not one of us is all right all the time. Who are we to do anything less than love people whose beliefs do not coincide with ours?

Peace doesn’t mean we don’t have strong belief systems.  In fact, quite the opposite is true.  Those who know Whom we serve and what we believe do not need to worry about what will happen to us if we listen to a Muslim’s earnest prayer for peace among nations, or a Buddhists’ desire for wisdom beyond his own.

I would like to think Peace on Earth is possible.  It is hard to imagine that the world’s population could really rise above our differences and choose not to war over our differences. It is equally difficult to imagine that Heaven’s angels would proclaim an ideal that was not possible through the hope Christ’s presence has brought to the world.

What do you think?  Is Peace on Earth possible?

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2 responses to “Is ‘Peace on Earth’ possible?

  1. Dave K

    December 12, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    According to the Bible, true peace on earth will never happen prior to Jesus’ second coming. That being said, can we have more peace on earth than we currently have? Sure but it’ll never last unless people turn to Christ and put their trust in him, not in Buddha, Allah, etc.

     
  2. Ken

    December 12, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    Is it possible, absolutely. As you said, why would Heaven’s Angels proclaim it if it were not so? But that is God’s desire and unfortunately not the desire of man. When I look at the world and the various countries and their peoples, all mostly desiring to be “right”, I find it hard to imagine. But what I do know is that if we start in our own little world (like the service you went to), then we can have a start. We don’t have to worry about the “world” but rather try to make “our world” a little better. Speak to that neighbor that aggravates you, smile at the store clerk that is rude to you, call that family member that gets on your last nerve, wave at a stranger as you drive down the road. Small things when you look at them from a worldly perspective, but big enough to start that “peace on earth” thing; and that is what it is going to take, a start. Great blog Emily.

     

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