February 12, 2009

Peace on Earth, a Responsibility for All

Excerpts from a Sermon by Maurice Mondengo, a Baptist pastor from the DRC

In this morning’s sermon I would like to focus on Luke 2:14, a verse that highlights two essential truths.

The first is that we are called through worship to give “glory to God in the highest.” However, the worship that we can currently offer is but a series of rehearsals for that great coming day when after this life we join with the angels of the Lord and sing a new song in Heaven. It is only after this life that we can sing and praise the Lord in our white robe washed by the blood of the Lamb of God. This is our hope and joy. Giving “glory to God in the highest” is the expectation of that coming reality.

The second truth is that of “peace on earth,” a responsibility and privilege that is to be pursued in the here and now. Every man, woman, race, tribe, church, and nation in the world has been given the challenging work to keep, build and cultivate peace on earth. Keeping such peace requires that we focus on three areas:

First, peace on earth depends upon peace in our own mind. I know in our world today of physical sickness, economic tsunamis, and refugee and immigration displacement, it is often difficult for us to have peace. Jesus knows our weakness in this matter and how fear robs us of peace in our minds. That is why the Bible is full of the expressions we know well, “Fear not,” and, “Let peace be with you.”

Second, peace with others. We are challenged to keep or build peace with others every single day. We know that we live in a culture of injustice, a culture of war and violence, a culture of confusion, and a culture of saying, “It’s not my business.” However in Psalms 85:10 the Bible states, “Justice and peace have to embrace each other.” Christians are called to embrace justice and peace in our way of living, doing, praying and working in the world. I am not referring to a justice that protects only those who are rich and have power. I am not referring to a justice that would protect the weak and poor only because they are weak and poor. This is justice that is justice for all because it is right.

Third, peace on earth depends, finally, on the strength of our ability to keep or rebuild peace with God. While working for peace on earth, are we at peace with God? Peace of mind is a good thing. Peace with others is also good. But both are not enough. We need to have peace with God as well.

Glory to God in the highest, but peace on earth. Let peace be on earth.

No comments: