By Pastor Juan Carlos Sánchez Saborío
It is clear that “various historical and cultural factors . . . have contributed to create an ethos in which peace occupies a decisive place.” This was evidenced by the commemoration enacted by the Union Nations General Assembly that marked September 21 as the day celebrated globally as the International Day of Peace. It entails “strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.”
The Biblical concept of peace is broad, relevant and pertinent. A few specific aspects include:
- Peace implies a correct relationship with God. To be in peace with God is one of the benefits of the work of Christ as is says in Romans 5:1: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
- Peace in its proper understanding is the result of divine action on humanity’s behalf since God himself is the God of peace (Rom. 15:33) and Jesus Christ has offered to give us peace, which is not like the world’s peace (John 14:27).
- Peace as harmony between human beings is proclaimed from the song of the heavenly hosts in Luke 2:14, and Romans 12:18 shows it as an objective to seek in our interpersonal relationships: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
- – Peace is not only something we should desire. We must work for it and intentionally build it as it says in Matthew 5:9: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Our commitment ought to be the permanent search for peace for which we receive divine grace as the Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 13:11: “Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.”
- Internal or interior peace, understood as the tranquility or serenity of the one who rests in God, is difficult to find and maintain, but it is possible through constant prayer and trust as it is described in Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
So what are practical ways we can be promoters of peace? One author answers the question: What initiatives can we take as Christians to work towards peace?
- Builders of Christian peace must take courage. We must not be dominated by “eschatological pessimism,” or by indifference that comes from impotence when faced by the magnitude of the challenge.
- Builders of Christian peace must pray (1 Timothy 2:2).
- Builders of Christian peace must give an example as a community of peace. Peace must be preached and incarnated.
We remember that the message of the gospel is the only one that can offer an individual and his or her community the internal, personal and social peace they long for, because as it is written in 2 Thessalonians 3:16: “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”
 B. Vadakkekara, art. Paz, Diccionario de Teología Católica.
 Dr. John R. Stott, Issues Facing Christians Today. Michigan: Zondervan, p. 133-139. Three of the 5 original suggestions are included.