Crying out for peace
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6
Patrick Henry was a statesman dedicated to peace and to the principles that deeply shaped the American people. However, his famed line from an address at the Virginia Ratifying Convention calling out, “… as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!” is fraught with irony.
First, to attain peace, he is calling for war. But more importantly, this great statesman understood peace in a very unusual way. Like many Christians, Henry suffered with inner peace. He was crying out to the world of international politics and strife, but his heart was broken by a domestic issue. While he called for freedom and peace, his wife was chained to a bed beneath the floor of his home. She was labeled mad.
Like Patrick Henry, most of us have underlying needs and cry out for peace. We seek not only the peace born of the absence of weaponry and tyranny, we seek “quietus,” the quiet peace of the soul; peace that allows for rest and a sense of wellbeing. Our Preamble of the Declaration of Independence inspired in part by Henry, “insures domestic Tranquility.” However, the peace of the soul is a matter of difference. One wonders which peace Henry truly spoke of in his fiery line.
Our need for peace is an anchor of our faith. While Henry went to the halls of government, we turn to the true Peace: Christ. We, too, deal with issues daily that are far beyond our ken to understand or to change. It is only by the hand of God that we come to know peace.
“I know not what course other men may take,” Henry said, but let us turn to the Wonderful Counselor, the Prince of Peace!
Prince of Peace, in your instruction we find serenity that is born of love and hope. In you, our peace is perfect and our hearts filled with quiet. Let us turn to the clear night sky to find the star of Bethlehem. May we look to the colorful sunrise of resurrection to find the glorious peace of the Lord. Amen.
by Gerrie Blackwelder