Andy Stoddard ~ Can We Really Have Peace?

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Rays of light through glass in a window church

I’ve been thinking a lot about peace recently.  We are in the midst of Advent, a season of hope, peace, love, and joy.  It’s in this season when we proclaim the words of Isaiah 9:6-7:

For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His authority shall grow continually,
and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time onward and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

The Prince of Peace is born!  That’s what we say.  That’s what we believe.

That’s what we believe: as Christians, as the church, that’s what we believe. And in the world that we live in, that makes us look different.  Off.  Odd.

And you know what?  Good.  We are supposed to.  We aren’t supposed to be like the world.  We aren’t supposed to be like the culture.

We are supposed to be different.

As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4:10 – we are fools for Christ.  We are supposed to look differently, believe differently, act differently.  We are called to have a different hope, joy, love, and peace.

As I regularly say, if you tell folks you are Christian and they say, “really?”  that’s not a good sign.  We have to look and to be different from the world.

I’m not saying that there aren’t things to be afraid of.  I’m not saying that there aren’t things that can take our peace, take our joy, take our hope, take our love.

Of course there are!  There are big, scary, worrisome things.  But please hear me.

God is bigger.

God is stronger.

God is more mighty.

He is bigger than your fears.

And as Christians, believing that is who we are.

And the world needs us to believe it and know it.

Your peace will not come from an absence of conflict or absence of things that are you are afraid of.

Your peace will come from the trust and assurance of this truth: no matter what you face, no matter what you are afraid of – God is bigger. And God is good.

Jesus Christ is the prince of peace.

Yesterday.

Today.

Forever.

He is our peace.

Will you trust him today?

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Andy Stoddard is the Lead Pastor of St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church in Madison, MS. He is the husband of Holly and the father of Sarah and Thomas. And besides all the important things (faith and family) he lives and dies with Ole Miss athletics.

Read more at www.revandy.org

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