We live in an age of slogans and buzzwords. The same word can mean very different things depending upon who is using the word and when it is used. A word that is intended to be uplifting and hopeful can sound oddly out of place or even inflammatory at other times.

Consider the word “peace.” Ordinarily, it is a very common word, used casually enough to be a greeting or a socially acceptable expression when two friends are parting after lunch.

But if that same word is linked with other words then it takes on an entirely different character. Pair “peace” with “justice,” for example, and what do you have? Match up “peace” with “righteousness,” and what does it mean? Couple “peace” with “love,” and what does that look like?

We have all heard it said that there can be no peace without justice. Equally, there can be no peace without community – a genuine desire for the well-being of everyone. But exactly how do peace, justice, and community fit together?

In the Beatitudes, Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” So, who are the peacemakers in your life? And what are they – or any of us – doing that contributes to peace in our world? Surely that day has not yet come, for there is much unrest and even violence today.

Do we, in fact, long for peace? And do we know what that day of peace would look like? If we have some vision in mind of that day, how do we get from where we are to there? May there indeed be peace on earth – and may it begin with each of us.

Dr. Gary S. Eller

Gethsemane Presbyterian Church

Council Bluffs, Iowa

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