When my oldest son was younger I would rock with him singing songs before bedtime. Often he would say, "Sing Peace Daddy, Sing Peace." At that age he did not know the name of the song so he configured language he could use where I would understand. The song was "I've got Peace like a River." Since than, the phrase "Sing Peace" has always stuck with me.
I love the images that float through my mind as I think of Singing Peace. However they quickly dissipate when I think of those in the world experiencing personal shame about their own self worth. Those in conflictual relationships that are unable to make amends. And people witnessing or involved in violent acts that will forever change who they are.
All these images make me realize eve more we need to "Sing Peace". But how do we do that in ourselves, our community, and our world? What are our personal or communal barriers which have halted the expression of Peace? How is the Christmas season related to Peace? What can I do to bring about peace in my world?
Finding Peace in Ourselves
It seems singing peace into our world should start with ourselves. First inner peace is a way of living! It's not some unrealistic goal that leaves us levitating above the ground. Peace is living within ourselves, our emotions and our environment. However the tricky thing is life happens which creates imbalance. Sometimes its minor unsettledness and others a significant unease that brings irritability and other emotions.
So how do we find and work toward peace in ourselves? Any change always starts with a step. If you want more peace on your journey first take a small practical step. There are many ways to do this but check out Henrik Edberg's "15 things you can start doing today to help you find inner peace". If you are wanting peace in your relationships than go to this article from the blog Tiny Buddha to help.
Peace this Christmas
The video below was produced by Nick Snyder in 2016. It does an incredible job identifying why we need peace in our world and how Christmas is about bringing peace to that world.
Creating Peace in Our World
What would the world be like if we strived for peace? What can we do to sing peace in our communities?
Listen and Be Aware - Listen to your neighbors and people in your community. Open your eyes to what you see. It is in those basic skills that needs are realized and opportunities for peace happen.
Promote Nonviolence and Inclusion - Actively use your voice to promote lifestyles of peace. Create open communication and environments in your life where all are welcome and safe.
Daily Prayer for Peace - Community of Christ does a daily prayer for peace in their temple in Independence, MO. Dec. 3rd marks their 25 anniversary of praying daily for peace in a specific country across our globe. If you are interested in taking part in this or learning more about it go to the Daily Prayer for Peace.
Donate to a Worthy Cause - Check out organizations before you just send your money to make sure they match your values. If you are looking for organizations creating peace in communities I would suggest you explore Outreach International, HealthEd Connect, OxFam America or Energy For All.
I want to leave you with the song, "Peace, Salaam, Shalom" by Emma's Revolution. Emma's Revolution is made up of two peace activist musicians Pat Humphries and Sandy O.
May Peace rest upon all of you this week! This week take another step on your journey by creating peace in yourself or your community. Next week come back as we discuss the virtue of Love!
Craig Hidy like the majority of ministers in Community of Christ is a bi-vocational, self sustaining ordained minister. He is a member of the Midlands Mission Center Emporia Team and an ordained Seventy. He and his family, live in Topeka, Kansas.
What is a Seventy?
The Seventy carry out missionary work for the church in close association with other missionary leaders. They represent Christ primarily as ministers of evangelism through witnessing, inviting, and church planting. They especially proclaim and promote Jesus Christ’s invitation to faithful discipleship through vibrant witness, and train individuals and congregations in witness and invitation. They particularly minister with seekers, individually and in groups, to share the gospel in relevant ways and to invite response. They support sacramental ministries by preparing people for baptism and/or confirmation, presiding at sacramental services, and performing most sacraments. They promote community by inviting individuals, households, and families to respond to Christ’s call to discipleship. They promote justice and peacemaking by inviting people to experience all aspects of Christ’s peace through active discipleship. They create ministry partnerships with mission center officers, apostles, elders, and evangelists.
The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Community of Christ or Midlands Mission Center. We believe individuals should be allowed to have their own opinions and be at different places in their faith journey.