Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin?
The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.
Peace, perfect peace, by thronging duties pressed?
To do the will of Jesus, this is rest.
Peace, perfect peace, with sorrows surging round?
On Jesus’ bosom naught but calm is found.
Peace, perfect peace, with loved ones far away?
In Jesus’ keeping we are safe, and they.
Peace, perfect peace, our future all unknown?
Jesus we know, and he is on the throne.
Peace, perfect peace, death shadowing us and ours?
Jesus has vanquished death and all its powers.
It is enough: earth’s struggles soon shall cease,
and Jesus call us to heaven’s perfect peace.;
We seek peace. We seek quiet. Why did so many of us in Texas get so excited when everything was shut down last Friday and Saturday due to the ice storm? Because we were all forced to have peace. Granted, our peace probably still involved a lot of noise and technology, but our schedules were cleared. For many of us, our daily tasks were put on hold.
We were in desperate need of peace.
What child is this? A baby, a peasant. Nobody special. But he is special. He is the King of Kings. He will save us. His life if pretty much mapped out. No time for peaceful naps. Even when he wants to go rest, the people follow him. And then again, that is peaceful. He knows the people will listen to him and hopefully do what he says and make the world a better place. That would be peaceful. Peace is an odd emotion. It can come from anything. Depression, love, anger, etc. The person who wrote the song was depressed and out of that came a beautiful song. He may be critical that Jesus is the Messiah, but then he writes the song and has eternal peace.
“What Child is This?” was written by William Chatterton Dix in the 60’s. The 1860’s. When he was almost 30 years old, he became sick. He almost died. He was confined to his bed for several months and even, as Rheannon mentioned,
entered into a period of pretty severe depression. Yet out of that depression he wrote this hymn.
Which leads me to think that the question this song asks is somewhat cynical. What child is this? This is the Messiah? This is the King? This is the one that is going to bring peace to my life? The baby lying in a manger in a stable? The baby held by its mother, herself only a teenager? This child?
Let me tell you something: I need more than a baby lying in a manger. I need something more than a carpenter and a teenage girl. Do you know what is going on in my life? Do you know what I am facing? Do you know how much help I need? And you want me to look at this child?
This questioning followed Jesus throughout His life, as well. When He spoke in Nazareth, remember the crowd saying, “Who is this guy? Don’t we know his parents? How can he talk to us as if he is someone important?” When Philip goes to get Nathaniel to tell him about Jesus, Nathaniel’s response is, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
Peace? In this dark world of sin?
What child is this?
So a story that makes me think of peace would be the Hunger Games Trilogy. The main character plays in the Hunger Games and they must settle the uprising. Soon after, she needs to help the rebellion. But after all that, she has a chance to just live. At first she can’t do anything because she is mourning the death of someone close to her. Then, an old friend comes and she must bandage an old relationship. But after all that, she is able to settle down and live a real life. She grows up being at peace. She has a family and her children play peacefully. And even it is just a book, think about her life. Ups and downs (mostly downs) and yet life is going to be good for her. Peace can be found at the most unlikely of places.
Another story that is peaceful would be Harry Potter. The main character(harry potter) at first doesn’t know he is a wizard. He is abused by his aunt, uncle, and cousin. He then learns that he is a wizard. He goes to the magical world and knows just about nothing. He makes friends and has a semi-normal wizard life. But the thing is, he must battle the powerful You-Know-Who. When He-who-must-not-be-named rises to his healthiest state, harry must defeat him, or be must be defeated. But after all that, he can settle down and have a family. And he does. He grows into a man, marries, and has a family. He can forget the battles, he can forget that the scar on his head used to cause him pain. Peace. Even from a bad background, he prospers. He has a new peaceful life.
When we are seeking peace, we are filled with questions. Characters like Katniss and Harry Potter seek answers. Fans of TV shows like Lost seek answers. In our lives we look for answers. We struggle because we have no peace and we want to know where it is going to come from. We are left, filled with questions.
But the questions get answered.
What child is this? This, this is Christ the King! Peace, Perfect Peace asks all those questions, but they are answered. Ultimately, it is enough; He is enough! Jesus is the answer to our search for peace.
Often, we need to remember that the answer Jesus offers is simply His presence. There are problems we face in life that no words can solve. There is pain we suffer that no words can relieve.
But the presence of Jesus brings peace into our lives.
But all books aside, life is still peaceful. We grow up and die, but in that lifetime, we find peace. Even if we do things that are not good, inside we can find peace. Inside we can forgive ourselves for any mistakes we have made. Forgiveness and peace are like best friends. They are tied together by not-so-invisible strings. Holding a grudge makes our insides bubble with hatred every time we see that person. Well I’m here to tell you that that hate is not a good feeling. I felt that hate toward a girl in my class last year. She was the coolest person in my class. Me on the other hand… I was the victim to much teasing and insults. But then I moved to a different school district. I wouldn’t go to the same middle school as she would. So I started the school year with a grudge against her. But man, that feeling was the worst! So I had to let that go. And when I did, I felt as light as air! That forgiveness made me feel eternal peace. So I’m asking you to let go of all your grudges. And I mean that for real. Don’t just tell me, my dad, or even yourself that you let go, do it for real. Because I want you to feel that peace that fills you to the brim. And the person that you are forgiving, tell them. They will feel that peace as much as you do. Mend that relationship, please.