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Peace with a capital P.

I started off a message once with a grammar game. I suspect most of you are thinking that the words grammar and game should not be used in the same sentence unless separated by the words “is not a”. I’m no grammar expert or enthusiast but it worked wonderfully as an object lesson and ice breaker. After a brief recap on identifying a noun as a person, place, thing, or idea, I asked for audience participation and began the game with a list of nouns to which my very sharp congregation responded with the correct category. “Cloud.” “Thing.” “Lady.” “Person.” The word lawyer drew a few good natured tongue-in-cheek answers. They were on a roll until I came to the last word. “Peace.” I tried to keep a straight face and before too long a few people said it was an idea. Someone in the last row said, “It’s a place.” Cute. They were on the right track. I answered that it was certainly an idea, and I agree that it could be considered a place (a subject for a later chat) but I challenged that it could also be a person. I could imagine their brain gears turning as some folks nodded and smiled and others scrunched their eyebrows. In English peace generally means a state of being calm or the absence of war or violence. Which makes it an idea or concept. In the Old Testament book of Judges, we first see peace as a person. The Angel of the Lord/God has a discussion with Gideon about his delivering the people of Israel from the Midianites. Gideon is quite sure that he is not the man for the job and verbalizes this to God. God then persuades Gideon, as only God can, with fire from the rock consuming the meat and bread Gideon had set there. God tells Gideon, “Peace be to you, do not fear; you shall not die.” Gideon receives God’s promise to him and accepts his divine destiny. He builds an alter to the Lord there and names it “Jehovah-shalom”. Translated in English as God is Peace. Peace with a capital P or in this case a capital J for Jehovah-shalom. When we allow God to reign in our hearts, He becomes our peace. As the Christmas season is now upon us, Christians celebrate the holiday by quoting Bible verses like Isaiah 9:6 which foretold of the coming Messiah. “For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Another Peace with a capital P is Jesus Christ. Acts 17:28 tells us that in Him (God) we live, move and have our very being and Galatians 2:20 states that Christ lives in us. If we are in Jehovah-shalom and the Prince of Peace is in us, then Peace is always there for us. We are without excuse of being peaceful. Peace/God is always wanting to be allowed to flow in us, around us and from us onto everyone we meet. Peace on earth, goodwill to men!

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