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Impossible to have peace without a peace child

Impossible to have peace without a peace child

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Christmas Message by Bishop Sonny E. Williams

Presiding Bishop of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the West Indies (St. Vincent and the Grenadines District)

The “Peace Child”

In 1962 Don and Carol Richardson went to New Guinea as missionaries to the Sawi People. Among the Sawi, treachery was an ideal which for generations was systematized and perfected. They venerated Judas as the epitome of manhood and his kiss of betrayal as the ultimate expression of treachery. Among them, every demonstration of friendship was suspect except one. If a man would actually give his own son to his enemy, that man could be trusted. To these warlike tribes it was considered impossible to have peace without a peace child.{{more}}

This Sawi custom reminds us of how God gave his only and beloved son as expressed by the prophet Isaiah:

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isa. 9:6)

God offers to us in the post election and Christmas season his peace child. This was what the host of angels joyously proclaimed on that first Christmas morn. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14) This peace can only be experienced by those who personally embrace the peace child.

Can there be peace after the bitter contest of the general elections? Can there be healing to the extent that we can again embrace each other as brothers? Martin Luther King Jr. offers a suggestion:

“Now let me suggest…That if we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, (our party) and our nation, and this means we must develop a world perspective. No individual can live alone, no nation can live alone, (no party can live alone) and as long as we try, the more we are going to have wars in this world. Now the judgement of God is upon us and we must learn to live together as brothers or we are all going to perish together.”

God’s peace child is the one who can reconcile man to God and man to man. The prophet Isaiah concludes that “…there is no peace…unto the wicked.”(Isa. 48.22) He however offers the solution to this dilemma in an earlier chapter:

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusted in thee.” (Isa. 26:3)

May we all experience real peace, inner peace at this festive season.

I therefore, on behalf of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the West Indies, extend to all Season’s Greetings. May you enjoy a joyous and peaceful Christmas and a Christ-centred and prosperous New Year.

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