“Peace on earth,” the angels sang in Bethlehem when Jesus was born. Over 2000 years later, we are still waiting for that promise of peace to be a reality. Sometimes we succeed in bringing peace into a family feud or a neighborhood rift, but global peace feels like a fairy tale. Why is peace so elusive? The same reasons we struggle to find peace in our personal lives are the same reasons we struggle to achieve peace as societies and nations. Anger, greed, power, mistrust, and fear are all reasons peace is such a struggle. We want peace, but we want to be safe, personally, socially, and nationally.
It's helpful to remember that peace making isn’t so much about trying to undo or get rid of what we consider wrong, but rather to do the work of making peace, of healing and making whole, with all the goodness, truth, and beauty that we can. Peacemaking is an act of trust, not in the work we do or our own abilities, but in the One who calls us to make peace and who loves us as children: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God. A global vision of peace on earth will likely remain a vision this side of heaven, but each of us has a bit of life in which we can make peace. And those little bits add up.