Throughout every Christmas season, I contemplate peace on earth more than other times of the year. There seems to be so little of it. As I listen to the news about gun control, cruelty, and other deeply sad tragedies, I can feel how frightening this world can be. Where is peace on earth?
I believe the search for peace can’t be out there somewhere, but instead, the search must start with cultivation from within. Many moons ago, when I was about twelve, I played my flute in a local talent show of my hometown. The song I chose was, “Let There Be Peace On Earth.” I remember the first few lines of that song, and every now and again, I’ll find myself quietly singing, “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”
Truer words were never sung or spoken. We can’t point to the next guy and demand that peace start with him or her. We have to start here. I need to start with me, and you have to start with you. However, that doesn’t make the process a solitary journey. Peace doesn’t happen in a vacuum. If we must be alone in order to experience peace, all we’ve managed is isolation.
In John 14: 27, our Savior states, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
These words make it really clear that we’re never going to find peace in the world. It just simply doesn’t exist. But we can bring peace TO the world! We can offer it. In fact, isn’t that part of why we’re here? By being disciples of Christ, we are students of the Master. We take what He teaches and we internalize it with the hope of offering it to the world, as He did. He offered peace during His earthly ministry, and He offers it to us today through His Christ-like love. When we rely on that peace, our fear can dissipate.
As we look at a new year with its troubles, pain, and tragedies, let us learn how to deepen our love, a love as deep as the ocean, that we may offer this peace to the world. Will the world accept our gift? I can’t say. But we must offer it just the same.
In this weekly blog, these are the things of which I’ll be writing; internalizing Christ-like love and peace through our daily living that we may have His image engraven upon our countenance. (Alma 5: 14, 18) That through the joy that comes from these things our love can offer His peace, like a fountain of “living water.” (John 4:10)