The full package of peace
One of the themes of Advent is peace. It’s a wonderful reminder of yet another Christmas gift we can anticipate in Jesus’ coming to us. And the gift of peace is certainly a gift that needs to be received in our day and age. But the gift of peace Jesus brings does not stand alone. Peace is the nature of Jesus’ rule and reign as the true Lord and King of his creation. You cannot separate Jesus’ person as King from his reign of peace. Jesus is not just our source of peace; Jesus is our peace. Peace does not come to us from any other source. That means to receive Jesus’ gift of peace is to receive him as our Lord and King. When we do, we are receiving the full package of peace. Let me explain.
Peace has a foundation. It is built on righteousness and justice. These three, righteousness, justice, and peace, were the model by which ancient Israel’s rulers were measured. Unfortunately, they often fell short. Let’s look at all three.
First, Righteousness is a word best understood as an orientation of the heart that seeks truth, compassion, gentleness, goodness, and overall wholeness in all relationships. ‘Righteousness,’ biblically defined, could be rephrased as, ‘right-relationship.’
Second, Justice is then understood as a working out of these inner qualities within human communities. Therefore, justice comes from individuals whose hearts beat with righteousness in all their relationships. On this basis, justice is not an external law to govern people’s interactions, but an internal reality working out towards others.
Thirdly, Peace, then, is simply the result of communities living in righteousness and justice among one another.
So, these three, righteousness, justice, and peace go together. Listen for the repetition of these three words in Psalm 72 that are desired and sought in a king:
Give the king Your judgments, O God, And Your righteousness to the king’s Son. He will judge Your people with righteousness, And Your poor with justice. The mountains will bring peace to the people, And the little hills, by righteousness. He will bring justice to the poor of the people; He will save the children of the needy, And will break in pieces the oppressor. They shall fear You As long as the sun and moon endure, Throughout all generations. He shall come down like rain upon the grass before mowing, Like showers that water the earth. In His days the righteous shall flourish, And abundance of peace, Until the moon is no more. (Psalm 72:1-7 NKJV).
No doubt, this Psalm finds its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ, our Lord and true King. He is the reason we celebrate the theme of peace during Advent. Jesus comes to us, bringing to us as gifts of grace his own righteousness, justice, and peace. If your heart is yearning for abiding peace, Jesus comes to you with the full package.
Presented by Greg Williams
About the presenter:
Greg Williams is President of Grace Communion International and lives in North Carolina, USA. Word of Life each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life’, (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International.
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