Searching for peace in the midst of turmoil

By  Rev. Ryan Olson

Little Falls Alliance  Church

On a day when our culture transitions toward the anticipation of Christmas our community has been flooded with pain. It is no secret that one of the most tragic events our community has experienced took place less than a week and a half ago.

In that time, I have spoken with a number of teenagers, as well as adults, listening to and expressing my own pain, sorrow and anger. We all naturally form opinions. Often times, we are driven by the power of our emotions. Some express and feel hatred. Some feel remorse. Others feel pity. But understandably few are experiencing peace.

My wife and I have been so disturbed in our spirits over the last several nights that sleep has been elusive. We have begun praying for peace not only for ourselves but also for our community — for you.

Sarah (my wife), came home yesterday from her MOPS group with a piece of framed Christmas art. It’s really not art but I am not sure what else to call it.

It is this black frame with red paper inside. The red paper has black printing on it, with a list of the names of Jesus each line being a different font and font size. It was the very bottom of that print that kept catching my attention, “Prince of Peace.”

Throughout the day, and evening I kept asking the question silently to myself, “Where is our peace?” The phrase “Prince of Peace,” is rooted in the Old Testament prophecy book of Isaiah, in chapter 9, verse 6. It is one of the many prophecies of the coming Messiah.

The passage reads like this in the NIV: “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.”

Micah 5:5 gives another Messianic prophecy about the peace that Christ will bring, where it is written, “… His greatness will reach the ends of the earth and he will be their peace.”

I cannot give any of us a certain magic formula or any magic prayer, no special insightful or wise advice that will miraculously change our hearts, lift our spirits and give us the peace we are longing for. But, I can say that if we look for peace in any other place aside from Christ we will not find it.

Ephesians 2:14 says that “For himself is our peace.” We cannot find true peace in ourselves, our governments, our families or our friends. We can certainly find some comfort in these places, but true peace can only be found in Christ.

So much of our world is in turmoil and peace is hard to come by. I beckon you to pursue Christ during this very challenging time for our community and ask for his peace.