Somewhere in eternity there is a garden. In that garden humankind was created and co-existed in peace with the Creator. Then catastrophe struck. Man rejected God and the peace between them was shattered. No longer could they peacefully co-exist with God so Adam and Eve left the garden to dwell elsewhere. But the consequences of the un-peace had only just begun. Next, man subjugated woman; then one of their children, Cain, grew envious of his brother Abel and killed him, resulting in the first violent shedding of human blood on the earth.
Through following generations, the un-peace spread like an unstoppable plague. Man against earth, men against women, brother against brother, children against parents, clan against clan, tribe against tribe, race against race, Jew against Gentile, nation against nation, alliance against alliance.
But God had a plan, and at the appointed time He sent angels into the clear skies over Bethlehem to announce His peace treaty to humanity:
“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” they proclaimed in joyful song over the earth (Luke 2:14).
At the same God-appointed time, a Prince of Peace made His humble entry into the world. The Prince grew to manhood and established His Kingdom of Peace on the earth. But by this time man had learned that un-peace can be profitable on many levels, so the Prince of Peace was killed by those who benefit from the absence of peace. However, the Prince also had a plan. Before dying, He sealed the peace treaty with His own Blood as guarantee of God’s good will; then He committed the completion of His peace mission to a people who had abandoned their earthly heritage and joined His Kingdom. And to them He gave a unique and peculiar mission, which He called the ministry of reconciliation:
Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 2 Cor. 5:18, 19
And so it is we find ourselves in a world devoid of peace. Rumours of peace break out almost as often as rumours of war, but peace when it is found is not easily maintained and usually short-lived. Peace treaties are rarely worth the paper they are written on these days. The un-peace still dominates humankind and impacts humanity at all levels, from family life to workplace to ethnicity and international relationships.
Within the collective soul of humankind there remains a dream-like yearning for the peace we knew in that long ago garden but despite all our strivings to regain it we drift further from it with each passing day. Un-peace is now our normal state. This un-peace is the outcome of sin, not necessarily yours or my individual sins, but the sinful condition of humanity as a whole.
The truth is that there is only one path to peace among men, and that is through peace with God. The good news is that there is hope and the bearers of that hope are the emissaries of the peaceful Kingdom established by the Prince of Peace. These are the true peacemakers on the earth, carrying the message that God has offered peace to man and His attitude is one of goodwill towards all humanity. The Prince of Peace came to ‘guide our feet into the way of peace’ (Luke 1:79) and has sent His goodwill ambassadors into all corners of the earth that men, women and children should know true peace:
And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” (Rom. 10:15)
The better news is that this same Prince of Peace is even now planning His return to expand and oversee the rule of His peaceful Kingdom on the earth. Then and only then can all humanity once again dwell in peace.
The fruit of this Kingdom peace in the Bridal company is, of course, peace: the peace she carries from God to mankind. The peace-making Bride bears the message that the Bridegroom has already broken down every wall of separation, the greatest of which is between God and man, and she herself is both the good-news bearer and the living evidence.
The Bride of Christ walks among warring humanity with the peace treaty written in her heart and the key in hand to reconcile every man, woman and child first to God our Father and then to one another. All creation groans for the unveiling of these children of God (Rom. 8:19). You will know her by her fearless message of hope, for peace is simply the absence of fear.
For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. Colossians 1:20
Another Bride-Atude coming soon!