Faith Matters

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By Rev. Dr. Brian Bigee

THINGS THAT MAKE FOR PEACE

A blessed 12 Days of Christmas to you all!  Thanks to all the people in this corner of God’s kingdom who keep the lights shining on our homes and in our yards to remind everyone of “the light who has come into the world” … Jesus, “the light of life!”

This is that time of the year where people start to talk about what’s next.  Everything from football bowl games, to when school resumes, where we might go for summer break and there are some who still make new year’s resolutions.  I’m not against it, but I haven’t been a serious ‘resoluter’ for quite some time now.  The Bible doesn’t say a whole lot about resolutions whether attached to a new year or not.  Just two or three time the best I can figure…  And I had to go digging for those like Proverbs 29:9 from the Holman Bible…

“If a wise man goes to court with a fool, 
there will be ranting and raving but no resolution.”

But even that translation is a stretch.  The word, resolution here gets better translated as “peace.”  And if you have been reading this column recently, you’ll already know that ‘peace’ in people’s lives and peace on earth is always on my Christmas list!  The Bible has a lot more to say about that! It’s a matter of faith and the God of peace and how that God of peace desires people to live.  It takes and effort. Really.

Back in 1967, A.J. Muste wrote, “there is no way to peace; peace is the way.”  Sometimes one needs to read it a couple of times for the words to set in.  Ah, 1967…there it is… it takes an effort to be peaceful!  My effort.  Your effort.  A community’s effort.  Government effort.  A global effort… one person at a time to round out the circle.  It’s more than just trusting the 10 Commandments.  Many people I know can’t even say three or four of them let alone have all ten serve as a good guide for life.  And we need to think BIG here… like what if all the armies of the world existed not to engage in battle with killing as an ultimate goal but rather be called upon as global “first responders” to save lives in the midst of natural disasters, famine and other external strife.  That would take an effort.  But, what a great effort! “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Jesus said.  Peace-making takes time and each of us has a voice in that choir! Or what about the idea that when everyone has access to clean water, children thrive and there is less risk of disease for all.  All around the globe.

Again, this is a matter of faith.  So, if you are one who thinks a resolution or two can be of benefit this time of year… here’ a short list that I hope can help…

  1. Resolve to live with eternal issues in mind.  Ask: How do my actions today help or hurt those who come after me?
  2. Resolve to pursue holiness.  St. Paul put it this way… “live IN but not OF the world!”
  3. Resolve to be thankful.  Much of how our lives are today are due to the efforts of others we’ve never known or heard of!
  4. Resolve to read and study on the Scriptures.  Ancient words are much more trustworthy than contemporary ideas, slogans or newest fads.  Studying in a group is always best!
  5. Resolve to commit to a local church.  Choices in these parts are plenty and the data shows most people who are in or out causing trouble aren’t really ‘practicing’ a worthwhile faith. Please feel free to contact me if you need some help finding one.

“So, don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others.”                     

                                              (2 Peter 1:5 –The Message)

These resolutions are things that can make for peace.  So, ‘peace be with you!’ today and in 2020!

Brian Gigee is a long-time resident of Pearland and the lead pastor at New Life Lutheran Church at 3521 E. Orange St. in Olde Pearland. You can follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Friend2theRabbi. Comments and questions can be sent to [email protected].

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