This year’s #peaceday celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “The Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70.”
The declaration states “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”, and that these are what build the foundations of freedom, justice and peace in the world. However, the Universal Declaration does not include a separate article on the right to “peace”.
I don’t know what the idea of peace, or the words “the right to peace” means to you. In a world that has centuries of history steeped in complexity, discord and war, the answers would be diverse to say the least. All I know is that at 15 years of age, I found personal peace when I opened my life and heart to Jesus. Scripture tells me that Christ is the Prince of Peace – the One who came, from heaven to earth, to calm the human heart, settle the score between light and darkness, and bring focus back to what’s truly important.
As an advocate for human rights – that has found expression for many years now within the Colour Sisterhood movement – I firmly believe that every human soul has the right to peace (and much more)… yet I have also observed (as a pastor and leader), true peace issues from within. When a person finds their sense of equilibrium about life, personhood and purpose, peace emanates from the inside out and affects the world that surrounds them.
My son, with Hillsong UNITED, wrote a song many years ago called ‘From the Inside Out’ –
My heart and soul
Lord I give You control
Consume me from the inside out
Lord, let justice and praise
become my embrace
to love you from the inside out
In like manner, Hillsong Young & Free recently wrote of peace. The chorus includes profound truth –
There’s a peace far beyond all understanding
May it every set my heart at ease
Dare anxiety come, I’ll remember that
Peace is a promise You keep
You are peace to a restless soul
Peace when my thoughts wage war
Peace to the anxious heart
You are peace when my fear takes hold
Peace when I feel enclosed
Peace when I lose control
That’s who You are, That’s who You are
I personally would love to see peace come to this world. I would love to see children grow up in a world safe from danger and harm. Imagine such a world. But the reality is that God said that whilst His glory and goodness would shine brighter and brighter in the latter days, the world also would (sadly) become more turbulent and perilous. None of us truly know the timing of these such days, but my constant prayer is that peace will be seen within the example of our lives and that it will inspire enquiry. This world needs a Saviour and this world needs to see this glorious Prince of Peace at work within the everyday realities of our stories and lives. May peace be your portion today and going forward, and may we all grow in the wonder of a world that does have answers and solution.
With love and affection,