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Jesus Christ Our “Peace Child”

Daniel Adebayo Iselaiye, Chairman, ECWA USA DCC

by Daniel Adebayo IselaiyeChairman, ECWA USA DCC

Some of us must have read “The Peace Child,” a book written by Don Richardson.  There is also a movie based upon the true story coming from this book.  Don Richardson and his wife worked as missionaries in New Guinea.  I’m not able to put a date to the time but I guess this was in the late fifties to early sixties.  I met Richardson himself in 79/80 while I was at Wheaton College and Graduate School.  He gave me a signed copy of his book.  We all have a lot to learn about the Christian message of reconciliation and we have a lot to teach others as Christian disciples.

Check out this book or the movie.  It has a lot to do with the reason for Christmas.  You can also find it out in YouTube.  It is about reconciliation and its cost.  It calls for our human response to God’s gift – His only Son (John 3:16).  Ignorance of this provision cannot be a good excuse.  There is a small cultural light given to every people or nation with which it can pursue peace but this light is not enough.  This is the cultural light that Richardson discovers among the head hunters or tribesmen of Sauwe.  Even though these people celebrate treachery as the highest virtue, they still have their own way to reconciliation.  Their cultural background helps them to relate to God’s vicarious sacrifice. 

Richardson finds himself between two warring villages, the tribesmen of Kamur and Hinam.  He persuades them to make peace to end the constant battles.  The way to making peace among these people is not what Richardson will expect.  It involves a child to be offered as a gift to the enemy tribe during the peace meeting.  Before this child is taken away by the other tribe, every warrior or person at the meeting will touch the child as if to say “You are the cause of my peace.”   You know the concept of “the scapegoat” as one of the types of sacrifices among the Jews.  Everyone in the family would lay his/her hands on the goat’s head before it was allowed to escape into the wilderness.   Among the tribesmen in Richardson’s story, the peace child is taken away to be nurtured and cared for with fear and trembling and there will be no war as long as the child lives.  Peace will be kept between the two tribes at all cost.  Of course the covenant is sealed with the cutting of the bow (an instrument of war).

You know, of course, that there can be no peace without Christ.  Let us think about areas of our lives where the “Peace Child” is needed today.  Christmas will be more meaningful if the world knows the truth of what God has offered us.  Political leaders of all nations need to know this truth.  This is our moral mandate for asking others and nations to live at peace with all people(s).

In closing, let me share the following text with you from 2 Corinthians 5:18-20:

Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new.  The old life is gone, a new life burgeons!  Look at it!  All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other.  God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins.  God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing.  We’re Christ’s representatives.  God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them.  We’re speaking for Christ himself now:  Become friends with God, he’s already a friend with you (THE MESSAGE).

May your Christmas be filled with all of the joy and peace on earth.