Where is the Peace on Earth?

 I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said,
‘For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.’

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
‘God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.’

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

~ Wadsworth

I wonder if when Wadsworth penned those words, he expected to someday see peace on earth. Or was he speaking wistfully about some day hung in eternity, about as accessible as the stars? Certainly, no one even today, nearly 150 years later, would dare to say we have achieved peace on earth.

Here in America, we have come as close to peace as anyone. Most of us live safe, predictable lives. But even here we have domestic violence, natural disasters, political arguments, road rage, rivalry, and worse. Even at this season when we blissfully sing of peace, havoc reigns. Just last week: An inexplicable mass shooting at an elementary school – 27 people killed.

Why is this? What can we do? This morning on talk radio, commentators were asking, “What law do we need to prevent this kind of thing from happening?” The answer isn’t in a Christmas carol. It isn’t in Washington. The United Nations can’t bring about world unity. However, Peace will come from authority. 

Think of it, what do you do when you feel anxious? If you’re like me, you set out on a frantic course to determine the problem, find the solution and relax once more in your manufactured peace. The trouble is, in no time, you and I are in turmoil again.

Do you ever say something like, “Oh to be a kid again, no cares in the world.” The reason kids have no cares is that they are happily submitted to the authority of their parents. Their peace comes from knowing that Mom and Dad will feed them, clothe them, tell them what to do and when to do it, answer their questions, calm their fears, kill the boogieman, dry their tears, tuck them in and teach them what they need to know. What would you give to have that kind of peace again?

This is what the LORD says–your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. Is. 48:17

World peace, personal peace, eternal peace is found under authority. And therein is the main reason we miss it. The older we get the less we like the idea of taking orders from someone else. The older we get the more confident we become that we can take care of ourselves. But, what if there was someone worthy to exercise authority over us? And what if that someone was implicitly good and trustworthy?

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Is. 9:6

We have been given PEACE, peace incarnate. And yet, this peace is a prince; he has come to rule.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Col. 3:15

Do not think that you can experience His peace unless He has full authority over your heart.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7

The peace of Christ is for those who like little children with a benevolent parent, bring their troubles to Him, instead of insisting on their own solution.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Is. 26:3

The Prince of Peace gives peace to those who look to Him for truth and trust His answers.

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
1 Timothy 2:1-2

And this Peace of Christ is for today, it is peace on earth (Luke 2:14). For even the peace that we desire in our homes, between our political parties, between our nations, is only experienced under the authority of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.

6 thoughts on “Where is the Peace on Earth?

  1. Hi Abby, yes it’s a great poem. Actually written by Henry Wordsworth Longfellow I believe, after the battle of Fredricksburg which left 50,000 dead and wounded. http://www.nelsonprice.com/peace-on-earth-2

    Your following comments are very, very good. You are right that we can keep burying our heads in the sand and pretend there is peace until the next war or crazed shooting incident OR everyone can say enough is enough and work for true peace. Again you are right in that the ONLY way is to focus on what Jesus taught us and the examples he set for us. We only reap what we sow. There is so much to be done ….

    kind regards


    1. David, Thanks for pointing out my error! Actually though, I found the author to be:Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

      Also, I appreciate your affirmation that Christ is the only source of peace. The most amazing thing is that He doesn’t throw up His hands and tell us to “have it our way.” For all who will believe that He is the Son of God, who came and died for our sins and rose again on the third day, He offers, and IS eternal peace.
      Merry Christmas.

      1. Yes, I believe you’re right again : He never gives up on us, whatever we do or fail to do. The humiliation and indescribable pain that Jesus willingly went through is very humbling. He even knew his destiny in advance. I believe we all have a purpose in life and we need to look hard to find it. I believe we must each contribute with our different gifts and abilities. God expects unity not uniformity. I believe what we do now will make a massive difference in eternity

        “We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him. They are the people he called, because that was his plan. God knew them before he made the world, and he chose them to be like his Son so that Jesus would be the firstborn of many brothers and sisters. Romans 8:28-29 (NCV)
        Have a wonderful and well-deserved Christmas with your family Abby, you’re a great person !!
        kind regards David
        IF I can stop one heart from breaking,
        I shall not live in vain;
        If I can ease one life the aching,
        Or cool one pain,
        Or help one fainting robin
        Unto his nest again,
        I shall not live in vain.

        Emily Dickinson – Life

      2. You have so encouraged me, Friend. That poem from Emily Dickinson encapsulates the reason I write. And the blessing is returned 100 times in friends like you who lift my heart! Merry, Merry Christmas!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s