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Peace & Holiness

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

“Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14 NRSV

Let There be Peace On Earth

Words and Music by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson

Let there be peace on earth,

and let it begin with me;

let there be peace on earth,

the peace that was meant to be.

With God our creator,

children all are we.

Let us walk with each other

in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me;

Let this be the moment now.

With every step I take,

Let this be my solemn vow;

To take each movement and

Live each moment in peace eternally.

Let there be peace on earth,

And let it begin with me.

This beautiful song came out of what could have been a tragic event. Years after this song was written, on the NPR radio show Humankind with David Freudberg, Jill Jackson said, “When I attempted suicide and I didn’t succeed,” she said, “I knew for the first time unconditional love—which God is. You are totally loved, totally accepted, just the way you are. In that moment I was not allowed to die, and something happened to me, which is very difficult to explain. I had an eternal moment of truth, in which I knew I was loved, and I knew I was here for a purpose.”

Today’s verse is about peace and holiness. In God, we find peace in his unconditional love. In our daily interactions with others, we are to promote peace to everyone. And our lives are to be a reflection of God’s holiness working through us to others. Yes, even that cranky and combative person. Does God expect us to sacrifice what is right to obtain peace? Certainly not, we are to maintain what we know is right according to God’s teachings and pursue peace, while not surrendering to wrong. However, this is where the holiness comes in; we need to ensure what we believe is truly righteous and holy, not because it is our personal bias or because it is the majority's opinion.

Is it possible to obtain peace with everyone? Perhaps not, but we can certainly try. What we know for sure is that we cannot do it by ourselves, we need God’s help.

God, we give thanks for your unconditional love. Despite our many failings, you still find us worthy of your grace. Help us today as we pursue peace while maintaining what is right. Let our lives shine as an example of your holiness. Dear God, we ask for there to be peace on earth and let it begin with us. We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Blessings! Pastor Tim

Hawn, C Michael. “History of Hymns: ‘Let There Be Peace on Earth.’” Discipleship Ministries, 12 June 2013,

“Let There Be Peace on Earth.” The United Methodist Hymnal, United Methodist Pub. House, 1989, p. 431.

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