ukraine, flag, sky

Peace on Earth; Peace in Ukraine

Russia has invaded Ukraine. The post-Word War II security arrangements have been shattered. The world is at war, even if we do not yet recognize how. Yes, the fighting and dying are only with Russians and Ukrainians, at the moment. Whether or not people beyond those nations also will fight and die, as with all other effects of this war, remain unknown. The only thing that is certain is that we will all feel it in some way.

This morning I started to pray for peace between people and nations. Peace on Earth. But then a rude fact struck me. People have been praying for peace between humans since Cain killed Abel, yet we now again face war and broadscale murder. It never ends. So why would my prayer now matter? I mean, didn’t the angels promise that the birth of Jesus heralded, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men,” but humans have not seen a day of peace since his birth? Luke 2:14, King James Version. Why does God let this happen?

As happens sometimes with me, I was working on anger against God because he is not managing the world to my liking. Fortunately, insight followed before anger blinded me.

As he always does, God has kept his promise declared by the angels. Jesus indeed brought complete peace. That peace, however, is vertical—between God and humans, rather than horizontal—between humans. Vertical peace is an act of God through Christ. Horizontal peace, however, remains dependent on human free will. We are free to choose peace with God and one another or to choose evil.

Through Jesus, God declared that sin would not make him opposed to humans. Oh, he would still oppose sin, but peace would be restored between Him and humans who accept it through his grace and mercy. When we do, we begin to experience His peace in the Kingdom Now and reserve a place to experience it completely in the Kingdom Forever.

At some point, all humans will submit to Christ, and the Kingdom Now and the Kingdom Forever will unite as one. Until then, we have to accept that evil remains abroad in the world, and humans will commit evil acts toward each other and wage war. That God may not intervene by a miracle and stop a war, does not mean the evil of war cannot be stopped. Christians and non-Christians can choose to stand firm in their own will and accept whatever sacrifices are necessary to oppose the evil of those who wage war. History has shown that can happen.

So that brings me back to my prayer. Whether or not God will end a war miraculously, I know that He changes hearts. I pray for the miracle, but I also know that he redeems even the most hard-bitten sinners. Here, we need only the heart of one to change. Vladimir Putin. So I pray for that too. I finally pray that the hearts of all people of goodwill, Christians and non-Christians, will stiffen with resolve to oppose this evil. We must stand for freedom and against those who oppress it, no matter how. I do not yet know what that means. Time will show us. That time is coming soon, and we must be awake to it.

© 2022, Thomas M. Trezise

Leave a Comment

Welcome, I'm Tom

I'm Tom Trezise a retired lawyer and corporate executive with over twenty years of experience as a Methodist lay preacher. Raised in Appalachia, I proudly call myself a hillbilly at heart. I'm the executive director of The Everyday Kingdom, a non-profit devoted to fostering a community that helps people find and experience the peace, purpose, and joy available from living every day in Christ’s kingdom.

Search the Blog