We are 50 years past the tumultuous year of 1968, a year in America that we saw unrest, demonstrations, assassinations, an escalating war, political turbulence, and a generation pitted against the older establishment. I remember adults at the time expressing a lot of desire for “peace,” although in my estimation they did little to try to achieve it even in small ways.
Here, in the year 2018, we think we should be further along the path towards peace. But, like Peter’s acknowledgment in 2nd Peter Chapter 2, we cannot “escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust.” (Verse 4) His words ring true today. Our perpetual and selfish human desires – our lusts – outweigh our desire for peace, regardless of the outcome. We find ourselves mired in the continual nightmare of greed, lust, and a search for power. Each time we turn on the news we are reminded that 2018 is no better than 1968, and in fact is no better than when Peter wrote his letter to believers.
The Advent season is a strong reminder that, even though it is beyond our grasp, we should always search for peace. We should mend strained relations; we should advocate for a better life for all, and we should treat all persons with respect. But most importantly, we should “make every effort to support our faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love.” (Verses 5-7)
It is easy to blame others for not keeping the peace. As Christians, we should not assign blame, but work to heal the wounds of war, evil, indifference, and hate. Let the Christ Child, who grew to exemplify Peter’s comprehensive list of the Christian life, enter your heart this season and change the way you think about peace. It is worth striving for. It is what Christ would want us to do with our lives.