It was in junior high choir when I first heard, and sang, this song that was written before I was born. It was composed for a children’s choir. The boy’s voices are still singing high and the combined choir carries the refrain strongly as the words are held a bit longer at the end: “let…..there….be peace on earth…and let it begin with me”.
This week of Advent we ponder peace and how we can make room for it in our life.
As I scrolled through the photos I’ve taken that include the word or ornament that says peace I notice several of them also feature bells. Peace coupled with symbols of noise. This seems an accurate juxtaposition of our daily lives. We have moments of quiet and noise. Sometimes they compete and other times they come separately at our direction.
The first question I jotted in my notes was in what way is peace more than quiet?
We use the words peace and quiet as if they’re interchangeable yet peace is more than quiet. One of the first definitions of peace is freedom from disturbance.
Using that definition, what disturbances are in the soundtrack of your daily life?
The second question I wrote was what produces the noise in our life?
Think about that. Name the sounds you’re hearing around you. The white noise of the whir of a ceiling fan. The television in the background. Angry voices from children arguing. There are times when even my favorite songs come across as noise.
I often think of peace as also being order.
Much like today, there was turmoil in the world before Christ was born. When the prophet Isaiah spoke about the coming Messiah he was described as the Prince of Peace in Isaiah 9:6
Just as there’s no room for hope when we are filled with worry and fear, there’s no room for peace when we harbor bitterness and anger.
If you journal, write your thoughts about peace. What needs to be cleaned out to make room for peace in your life?
Here are a few ideas, suggestions really, to reduce the noise in your life.
Turn off notifications on your device. I am bothered by the little red numbers popping up. I can’t seem to ignore them. One simple thing has made a huge difference in reducing the unwanted noise in my life.
Disconnect for 3 hours (or whatever you need) That’s a bigger challenge for me. Most nights, I sink into a hot tub and read. It’s not 3 hours but it’s a necessary time to pull away.
Don’t enter the argument. If you want the last word this will prove difficult for you. Remind yourself you’ll have nothing to gain from this kind of noise.
Recognize you’re responsible for adding peace to your life.
I was curious as to when Let There Be Peace on Earth was written. I discovered one of the co-writers had become suicidal after the failure of her marriage. She said she wrote the song in response to the “life-saving joy of God’s peace and unconditional love.”
That’s the kind of peace Advent is proclaiming. That’s the real peace we want in our life – the life-saving joy of God’s peace found in the gift of Christ.
Prince of Peace, free my mind, heart, and soul that I might know your peace above the worries and weight of the days. Where I am fearful, show me your guiding hand. When anger threatens to erupt, calm my anxiety. Rid me of bitterness and replace it with your lasting peace.