Today is Armistice Day and on this day in 1918, the worst war in the history of mankind until that time came to an end. The guns were silent in World War I.
Armistice Day is one of those “memory” days. It is a day when we remember those who died in the war to “make the world safe for democracy.” On this same day in 1939, the song “God Bless America” had a somewhat delayed debut. As a semi-official national anthem, this song was 22 years old before it was heard in public. Irving Berlin wrote it during World War I, but it was not sung in public until that day in 1939. Some may be able to remember Kate Smith singing it on a radio broadcast.
As we anticipate the “Thanksgiving/Christmas” holiday frenzy, it is vital to recall the peace process. It is vital to be grateful for those who gave their lives for the national and international peace we often take for granted. But most of all, it is vital to recall the place that Jesus, the Prince of Peace, wants to occupy in our lives. Remember this well: Peace is not the absence of conflict, withdrawal, or a forced tranquility, but a deep, abiding, internal “rightness” that reflects the presence of God.
Correctly rendered, Luke’s account of the angels’ message announcing the birth of Christ is not “Peace on earth and good will to men,” but rather “Peace on earth among men of good will.” Christ indeed is the Prince of Peace to those who know Him and find this “rightness” inside which results in good will.
Why don’t you decide now to seek “peace” in this hectic but Holy time. Seek peace, but remember, real, honest-to-goodness, life-sustaining peace is always an “inside-out” proposition.