By Emma Knight
Written and performed by Emma Knight at the Oasis Church Evening Carols 2017. Listen to the recording from the night using the embedded player below, and follow along with the words throughout the rest of the blog. See more from Emma on her blog here.
‘Peace be with you’ the Vicar said,
He was on the telly,
And I was just a kid, watching Christmas TV.
Tired and fully fed.
It’s a nice sentiment. Isn’t it?
‘Peace be with you’
And you feel it…well, for a bit.
Peace can seem like an intangible thing
Something to cool the pain when life can sting.
It can seem like a dream that the world hangs on to
Circa Martin Luther King.
But what if what the Vicar said was true?
That peace could be with me and with you.
What if peace was real?
What if peace could feel?
But peace still feels like a puzzle at times,
Like convincing yourself no one will like your poem if it doesn’t rhyme
Because life isn’t perfect.
It doesn’t all fit.
There’s war and there’s heartbreak and it doesn’t all sit
Right, so peace is getting closer now
I can feel it coming nearer like a star a cross the sky
For there is peace in moments and memories
In the sound of running free
Peace is traveling home for Christmas and being with those you miss
It’s cosy nights in with the fire on
and being able to laugh when the dinner goes wrong.
In Brum it’s the sound of the bin lorry coming down the road
And a cuppa with a friend that lightens the load.
Peace is two fingers out to the world
For justice demands action, healing and redemption,
When you turn on the news and all you see is broken people
and global devastation,
Peace is knowing this is not the conclusion to the story
For it was designed to have a happy ending.
Peace is a connection
Between the generations
An offloading of frustrations.
Peace does not mean to be in a place where there’s no noise, trouble or work.
It means to be in the midst of it and still be calm in your heart.
Peace is the sight of Poppy’s growing after a life of love, loss and knowing
That time heals even the deepest of wounds
After all, it only took 3 days for Jesus to walk out of that tomb…
So be still and listen for the earth is singing
Created in peace before Satan deceived and violence increased.
The world groans in hunger pains
as life seeking peace strains and strains.
What if what the Vicar said was only part of the story.
What if peace was not just with you but in you.
What if peace wasn’t a nice thought
Something we prayed for as a last resort.
What if peace was a person
Who came not just for this festive season
But for a real life-giving reason.
What if peace came in a stable
In the form of a baby.
In peace did little Jesus lay in among the cattle and hay.
He fell asleep beside the sheep.
The lamb of God encompassed in his baby bod.
For he will be our Peace.
And knowing him as Prince, King and Lord.
Gives us peace beyond understanding
For how can he, this manger laid baby
Really set us free
From the hurt, the shame, the darkness and grief.
Well, by taking it all upon himself
He bore the cross that we deserved
Died in pain
That’s the king I serve.
He cried as a baby and cried out for us on that tree
Hold your breath and count to three.
The lamb of God was slain
Now stands undefeated
A baby born to reign.
Emanuel God with us. Peace in us.
Praise be to the living God Jesus.
True peace comes from knowing he is in control
and ensuring he’s placed in his rightful role.
When life is being pulled into pieces and you feel yourself sinking deeper
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts
This baby in a manger is only the start!
Come and receive the peace of Jesus. Not in part but in whole.
Because blessed are you the peacemakers,
ground shakers, justice seekers, culture creatures
for you will be called God’s children.
Free to live, give and love.
And it’s not promised to be easy, or carefree
but the promise of peace available was secured when Jesus died so that we could be
The you and the me we were made to be!
Peace is here and peace is now
Peace is coming on a cloud
Peace is everywhere if you pause to look around
Peace is being at home and Home is in him.
The one who died for all our sin.
What a baby. What a King.