Let There Be Peace on Earth

October 17th, 2013

Happy are people who make peace, because they will be called God’s children. —Matthew 5:9

God gives us endless opportunities to restart our lives. He never gives up on us. But there are times when we have the power to blot out those endless opportunities for second chances. In the closing days of World War II, Jill Jackson was so overwhelmed by her problems that she was at the breaking point. Her husband had deserted her, she was unable to even scrape up the money to feed her little girl, she had no career options, and she was living in a place where she knew no one. With a background as an orphaned and abused child, Jill saw no hope. So she attempted suicide. But just like she had failed at seemingly everything, she didn’t die. Now partially paralyzed, her life had even less promise than it had before. It would take years of searching for hope before she read Christ’s story and suddenly felt a sense of peace she had never known. In Jesus, she finally discovered someone who would not reject her.

With faith in her heart and a new outlook on life, Jill met and fell in love with composer Sy Miller. Together the two began to write and, inspired by Jill’s tragic story, they penned “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” It would be almost a decade before they found a home for their song, but during the Vietnam War when people finally heard “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” it became one of the era’s most popular choral anthems. It then crossed over to Christmas music where it was transformed into a cherished carol.

Jill Jackson couldn’t imagine any kind of peace until she found Christ. Crippled by her own hands, she nevertheless was spiritually healed when she accepted Jesus. The peace that flooded her soul sent her in a new direction where she found success as a woman, a mother, a wife, and a writer. It also led her to pen an anthem offering a formula for peace echoing back to the earliest days of the Christian church.

The first missionaries realized that Christianity is all about touching one soul and one life at a time. It was through this personal relationship that a movement began that today reaches billions. In places like China, where the government has attempted to eliminate Christianity, the faith has grown, and there are more Christians in that country than in the United States. Those who have felt the peace brought by this faith were touched one-on-one by men and women who decided that sharing the gospel had to begin with them.

Jill came to the realization that things start to change when we begin the change. That led her to create a song that has inspired millions. Today you have a choice to either make a difference or to sit back and watch others do the heavy lifting. You can either take responsibility of letting the work of Christ start with you or leave it to another. Your faith will be defined by the choice you make as well your ability to bring peace to your own heart.

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