Peace is a word that on the surface seems easy to define, then expands in the way we understand it in different contexts. Dictionaries use such definitions as:
1. Freedom from war and violence.
2. Freedom from oppressive thoughts or anxiety.
3. Harmony within personal relationships, at home or in the workplace.
4. A state of tranquillity or quiet.
The term has its origins in the Latin ‘pax’, meaning peace, compact, agreement, tranquillity, an absence of hostility, and harmony.
There is an ancient connection in English as a greeting with the Hebrew word ‘shalom’ which extends its definition to ‘being complete, or whole, with a wish for good health, well-being and prosperity’. We also use it as a farewell, particularly at a funeral service, with the phrase ‘rest in peace’.
In a social sense, peace is commonly used to mean a lack of conflict and freedom from fear of violence and death. Leaders of nations have used peace-making and diplomacy to establish agreements and treaties that have allowed for regional development and economic growth. An ‘inner peace’ involving our thoughts and emotions is not so easy to define outside of a religious context but is perhaps a feeling of quietness, well-being, coupled with a lack of anxiety about the uncertainties of daily life. Being ‘at peace’ can be associated with a healthy mental state.
In these studies we look at noth the Old and New Testaments to see what they bring to our understanding, and look at those who have found and those who have lost peace, and some of the reasons behind their stories.
The study is formatted such that each individual study can be printed off on 2 double-sided sheets of A4 for distribution to a group, or distributed by email. If you're using it with more than one group, it would be appreciated if you could consider purchasing one study per group!
The five studies have all you need for a small group discussion, with useful images, plenty of commentary, discussion questions and prayers.
1) The human search for peace
2) Peace damaged or destroyed
3) God and Peace : The Old Testament
4) God and Peace : The New Testament
5) Peace in the Lives of Believers
Now available as a pdf to download
View a sample from the book (pdf) via this link