News & Views
International Peace Day
Today is the United Nations International Peace Day. The theme for this year is, “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace” which Steph Gutmann reflects on, in relation to God’s Word.
On a day which is supposed to see ceasefires and acts of violence stop for twenty-four hours, we have already witnessed the breakdown of the Syrian ceasefire, with attacks on Aid workers overnight, as well as yesterday’s Aid convoy attack, an attempted attack on the Israeli Embassy in Ankara in Turkey, and a spate of eight attacks over the last few days in Jerusalem. Add to that the three attacks on US soil over the weekend, and the increased tensions with North Korea, across Europe and we have a whole melting pot of pressure.
All this while Hinde Street Methodist Church in London mocks up an Israeli checkpoint, during the so-called Church’s World Week of Peace, in an attempt to demonstrate what Palestinians have to “endure” on a daily basis just to go about their business. Short-term memory loss appears to have caused people to forget the reason behind the installation of the checkpoints in the first place, as Israeli’s were faced with terror strikes against them as they go about their daily business.
It seems like one man’s idea of peace differs from another’s.
The idea of man trying to put down building blocks for peace is commendable, but I wonder how much easier it would be if the foundation for these building blocks of peace were bedded deep in the solid foundation of the Prince of Peace.
It seems like one man's idea of peace differs from another's.
“For He is our shalom, the One who made the two into one and broke down the middle wall of separation. Within His flesh He made powerless the hostility—the law code of mitzvot contained in regulations. He did this in order to create within Himself one new man from the two groups, making shalom, and to reconcile both to God in one body through the cross—by which He put the hostility to death. And He came and proclaimed shalom to you who were far away and shalom to those who were near—for through Him we both have access to the Father by the same Ruach. So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household. You have been built on the foundation made up of the emissaries and prophets, with Messiah Yeshua Himself being the cornerstone. In Him the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple for the Lord. In Him, you also are being built together into God’s dwelling place in the Ruach.” (Ephesians 2:14-22 Tree of Life Version)
With Jesus the Chief Cornerstone, upon Whom we are being built, those of us who are in Christ are the building blocks being fitted together. He alone is the One who can knock down the walls of division which separates humanity from knowing true peace.
So on this International Peace Day, it is my prayer that the hostility between Jews and Gentiles will be put to death, and that we would become reconciled together through Yeshua – the Prince of Peace. I pray that Jerusalem, God’s own chosen City, will know the shalom which she longs for, throughout her streets and alleyways, and that she will become an example of the One New man we long for, as Jewish people no longer live in fear of persecution and terror, and Arab children are no longer taught to hate and kill their Jewish brothers. May the Church extend a hand of love and mercy to his older brother, Israel, rather than stirring discord and disunity from a position of political misunderstanding; may the peace of God rule our hearts and minds, that we see people as people, instead of a battle against them and us; and may the love of God flow through us to one another, that by the love and unity we demonstrate, the world may see the truth of the shalom Yeshua gives to us – but not as the world gives – so the hearts and minds of those in darkness may not be troubled or anxious, but will find hope, assurance and peace.