And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).
It’s not like watching TV. It’s standing guard. It is protecting. It’s an assignment. It’s a duty. Some who were found asleep while on guard duty have been shot. This is serious business.
We understand the need to guard a nation. We even have a group known as the National Guard. We know the value of peace and the cost of guarding it. We are not as familiar with the idea of peace doing the guarding. We wonder how peace can guard hearts and minds.
Christmas shows us.
He was called the Prince of Peace. With his arrival, angels announced that the holy God had declared unilateral peace with the citizens of earth. Some did not even realize they had been at war with him. They should have.
Consciences had raised the alarm. They knew something was wrong. Someone would answer for the wrong. Messages from heaven had been recorded and read. They pointed accusing fingers at human hearts. They revealed that human minds were in a state of rebellion against the Creator. People would die. And they did.
The Prince of Peace had been sent to change that. As the Son of God, he had the power to rescind the death notice. He would die instead. He would be separated from the love of God in place of the rebels.
Peace would reign. His peace. God’s peace. Over all his Kingdom.
Mere mortals can hear the words of peace, but they cannot understand its breadth and depth. Humans always work within limits. Only so much strength, only so much wisdom, only so long of life.
God has no limits.
He gives unlimited protection to the command center of our being. If our hearts and minds are kept safe from the attacks the Evil Foe, we need fear no evil. We can scoff at worry. The old phrase is true: “No Jesus, no peace. Know Jesus, know peace.”
If we had been there to watch over the Babe of Bethlehem in that stable, we might have told him, “Sleep in peace.”
Instead, he is the one who watches over us. He stood by our baby bed. He stood by our sick bed. He will stand over our death bed.
And he will tell us to “Sleep in peace.”
He will keep watch all through our angel’s flight, and greet us when we touch down. Until then, God’s peace stands guard.
No matter what our age, we delight to be called his child, and we can pray:
Be near me Lord Jesus; I ask you to stay
Close by me forever and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in your tender care. And take us to heaven to live with thee there. Amen.
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military