These verses speak to the idea of peace and order in church and community life. Just as the news of peace had to be first rooted in an individual race, the Jews, before it could be shared with all people, so it follows that peace must be rooted in an individual’s heart before it can be shared and spread further afield. Author and pastor Rick Warren says this: ‘The reality is that there will never be peace in the world until there is peace in communities. And there will never be peace in nations until there is peace in communities. There won’t be peace in communities until there is peace in families. And there won’t be peace in our families until there is peace in our individual lives.’ And although it may seem simplistic, I think he’s right. Peace hasn’t got a hope of going in the opposite direction from global to individual so if peace is not going to start in the hearts of individuals it’s just not going to start at all!

Question: Can you imagine the difference it might make if peace spread from ourselves to our families, to our churches, to our places of community? Can you even imagine what a peaceful family or church looks and feels like? What would it take?