“Because of our God’s merciful compassion, the
Dawn from on high will visit us . . . to guide our
feet into the way of peace.”
Peace is a pursuit. You say of the righteous person, “He
must seek peace and pursue it” (1 Peter 3:11). Peace is
active, not passive.
Word made flesh, You have come to put our feet on
the way of peace, to lead us in ways of living that bring
peace. When I consider how You were willing to humble
Yourself fully so that You could bring to us the gift
of Your peace, I am confronted with the many ways that
I will not humble myself even slightly to bring peace.
During this Christmas season, I have found myself
captured by the words of the classic hymn “Let There
Be Peace on Earth” by Jill Jackson and Sy Miller. “Let
there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” These
words may be derived from the Prayer of St. Francis of
Assisi, “Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.”
So, I think, living in this world, in the midst of strife and
anger, what would it mean for me to be an instrument of
Our world is more than ever defined by our conflicts:
accusations, punches and counterpunches, rhetoric
growing increasingly shrill until reason and truth are
left trampled, and collateral damage in the war of slogans
and talking points.
Bring the focus in tighter. Little arguments, petty
responses later regretted, disagreements blown out of
proportion, and hurt feelings, nurtured and fed, occur in
Let peace begin with me.
It takes on a new look as I view it through the prism
of my everyday circumstances. When I let it become
something more than a Christmas sentiment, it loses its
soft focus, and I find it to be all sharp edges and harsh
angles, demanding outrageous grace and humility that
is beyond me. What about when Christmas is safely
packed away and out of sight for another year, will I
keep the reality of Christmas unpacked in my life? Will
I be an instrument of Your peace?
Now, whether I am shining the light of these words
on the world or on my country or on my family or on
people whose lives intersect with mine at any juncture,
the picture changes—the light falls on me. The focus
is no longer on others and what they might have done
to deserve my anger. The focus is now on me and what
I can do to be an instrument of Your peace.
Outrageous grace. Humility that is beyond me.
I have no other way for peace to begin with me, than
for peace to begin in me. Dying to pride, yielding control,
I must allow peace to flow from me like rivers of
What is Your call on my life? Peace: “Since as members
of one body you were called to peace” (Colossians 3:15 NIV).
Can I mouth words about “God’s call” and
not offer myself to be an instrument of Your peace?
Make me an instrument of Your peace.
From Pursuing the Christ by Jennifer Kennedy Dean