What enables Christians to stand for peace and hope in the midst of war and strife? This Easter our global executive director / CEO, Michael Oh, shares his reflections on how our peace and hope can be grounded in Christ. Weary Christian, take heart.
Hello friends. I am Michael Oh, and I bring you warm greetings from the global family of the Lausanne Movement.
This Easter season, I have been reflecting on John 14:27, where Jesus says:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
How does the world give? And how does Jesus give?
The world gives so that it can receive something back. The physical gifts of the world are easily broken, stolen or lost. The invisible gifts of the world—like power, prestige, popularity—these are only given to those who are deemed worthy. So often, the gifts of the world lead to the brokenness of ourselves and others, and to the brokenness of the world.
But in contrast to this, Jesus gives freely. We can hear his voice in these words from Isaiah 55:
Jesus gives like a father to his child, selflessly and full of love and care. He gives like a mother joyfully welcoming her children home to feast at the table. His gift is not easily broken, cannot be lost, and is rooted in grace and holiness. Jesus gives all of himself, even unto death.
In the midst of the war in Ukraine, two Lausanne leaders—one from Ukraine, the other from Russia—shared on a video call about their friendship and love for each other, praying together and encouraging each other. Their story has inspired many believers around the world. But it came at a great cost. Shortly after their story was made public, they had to flee their countries due to government persecution.
What enables Christians like these to courageously stand for hope in a world of war and strife?
It is the same hope and peace that has enabled the people of God throughout all of time to show radical love for their enemies. Their peace is grounded not in this world, but in Christ, who overcomes the world. May we also experience that peace and hope of Christ this Easter season. May we not let our hearts give in to trouble and fear.
This Easter season comes to us in the midst of war, pandemic, and a general weightiness felt by all. It is more important than ever for us to remember our Savior, who comes to give us abundant life and peace. He calls us, invites us, to rest in him.
So brothers and sisters, may you know that rest today. And may that rest lead you to hopeful, courageous life, wherever the Lord leads you.
Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash
Photo by Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash