Today, September 21 is International Day of Peace.
Many cultures use all kinds of different symbols for peace: the dove, the olive branch, and the rainbow just to name a few.
These all have Biblical symbolism as well and I believe it is where the original peace meanings stem from.
Sometimes these symbols are stolen, distorted, and no longer represent the peace they were intended for.
Do you know what the Peace flag is? It is simply the rainbow.
This flag was first used in Italy with the word ‘peace’ in Italian on it.
The rainbow represents the promise that God would never flood the earth again (Genesis 9.13). For most, it is no longer seen as a symbol of peace of that promise but rather used as symbol of gay pride.
Often the good intent ends up being used irreverently. For now, we no longer associate the rainbow with being whole or God’s creation or even that it is the symbol of His promise of peace.
It is true, people get confused even if you try to tell them otherwise.
I do wish they find true peace in Christ alone.
I love this representation for international peace:
Perhaps, a Christian designed it. I am not sure, but it does incorporate peace, don’t you agree?
If it had a rainbow, then it would have all three of the above mentioned Biblical symbols of peace (the dove, the olive branch, and the rainbow).
Another example of peace is the swastika. It is an ancient Eurasian symbol. Then, it became a symbol of good luck and now, of course, no one would associate it with peace or luck!
When I was in Korea, I was surprised to see it on ancient buildings over 5,000 years old and learn of its roots which are so far from the racism of white supremacy and intimidation we think of today when we see it.
If you think of the upside down broken cross as a peace symbol, well, there is more to that story too. You see, Nero who despised Christians would crucify them head down on a cross (including Peter).
So, could it be that the peace symbol really is a reminder of martyrs? I am not entirely positive, but I do know Germans used it in the graves of their SS Officers who they believed were martyrs for their cause.
Supposedly the bottom half of a peace symbol represents a broken rifle – or broken ‘arms.’
The internationally recognized peace symbol – variously known as the nuclear disarmament symbol is a combination of the signals for the letters “N” and “D”, standing for “nuclear disarmament.”
The letter “N” is formed by a person holding two flags in an inverted “V” like this:
The letter “D” is formed by holding one flag pointed straight up and the other pointed straight down.
These two signs form the shape of the centre of the peace symbol.
If it is the other way with arms up it is suppose to represent life. Arms down – death. Makes sense death will come if evil prevails.
So for me, this is what I see: peace is not possible in this fallen world without Christ. It also says look at sacrifices others have made as martyrs like Peter being crucified upside down.
Let the peace symbol remind us to pray for those who have been lead astray. Pray they find the peace that passes all understanding which finds its roots in Christ alone.
Most will look at this symbol and instantly identify it as peace. If someone thinks it evil, we must remember so is the cross!
It was a sadistic, most horrendous, and evil thing. It was a curse to hang on a tree; even Scripture so says in Deuteronomy 21:23 and Galatians 3:13.
It was a symbol of shame and of evil.
The cross was never a symbol of good, at least not until Jesus came.
When Jesus spoke of taking up our cross and following Him, the imagery would not have been seen as a good thing by the vast majority of people. It would be as if the syringe became the symbol of euthanasia and then we all started to take the syringe as the symbol of our new religion. However, the death of Christ transformed the symbol of death into a symbol of life.
I used to wonder why did we wear crosses. I thought how strange it would be to wear an electric chair. But the empty cross reminds of Christ’s conquering of death and seen in the peace sign, it can also remind us of the post our Lord was whipped on prior to his death.
Let it remind us He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities as it says in Isaiah 53.5.
We can find peace in Christ alone and when we do, others will ask about that peace they see in us as we strive to…
Find peace – find it in Christ alone.
By the way, all of the above was inspired original by this peace symbol I saw on a wall in a clothing shop in an airport terminal:
I encourage you to blog or journal and write down the things God lays in your heart and mind even as this as I rushed through hallways while traveling. You might be surprised at the learning adventure you might go on by taking the time to explore what you have been exposed to. Happy adventuring with our Lord. I pray you do in Him alone!
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