International Day of Peace | JOY for Today

Peace and joy. Common quests of mankind. The problem arises when what you require for peace and joy collide with what I require. How do we find common ground? How do we come to accept a shared meaning of peace and joy? 

A dove flies against a blue cloud-spotted sky. Text overlay quotes Isaiah 26:3
International Day of Peace | September 21st Annually

JOY for Today Offerings:

UPCOMING HOLIDAYS: 

Did You Know:

  1. Many societies never experience war?  Most societies, through the ages, experienced a state of peace more often than a state of war and 10 percent of those societies never experienced war at all. (Oxford University Press)
  2. Even the first recorded human story ended with a preference for peace? The epic of Gilgamesh tells of a King who finds fulfillment in wisdom and justice over war and violence. (Oxford University Press)
  3. Gender equality and healthier economics increase the likelihood of peace? Not only are gender equal countries less likely to enter warfare, but they are also more likely to maintain longer states of peace. Likewise, the more evenly money is spread throughout a country, the less likely it is that the country will experience internal conflict. (Oxford University Press)
  4. This year's peace goals aren't just about war? In 2023, we're asked to take action for peace: fight inequality, drive action on climate change, and promote and protect human rights with the focus being on Sustainable Development Goals. (United Nations)
  5. A dove is a common symbol of peace? In the Bible, a dove returns with an olive branch which signifies the end of Noah's flood, and, at Jesus' baptism, God's spirit descends like a dove. In 1949, the First International Peace Conference used Picasso's "Dove of Peace" as its emblem. (Genesis 8:11, Matthew 3:16-17, Pablo Picasso.org)

We'd Love to Know:   

Which of these facts would you share with your learners?

Wolfe Stew Connects

We fight. Conflict is part of human nature. The third human on earth killed his own brother (Genesis 4:8). The wisest earthly king admits war is sometimes necessary (Ecclesiastes 3:8). Even Jesus said He did not come to bring peace but a sword (Matthew 10:35). How, then, are we to know peace? Deuteronomy 6:4-9 tells us to:
Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one God.
This verse unites us. It reminds us that our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness (Ephesians 6:12). We can release any conflict and surrender to this fact: we serve one God. By turning our thoughts to what unites us we can forgive what divides us.
Love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Our energy, thoughts, and emotions are better spent by turning our attention to Our Father in love. When we struggle to love a brother, we can open our heart to Him instead. When we are too prideful to forgive a sister, we can fall at His feet in our weakness and thank Him for His mercy. When mocked by a stranger, we can rejoice that He calls us His beloved. When fears, lies, confusion, and worries rage within us, we can fix our minds on His truth.
Keep His commandments alive in our hearts.
His truth is at the heart of His commandments. By understanding His commandments, we understand His will for our lives, and when we accept His will for our lives, we know peace. Peace is not achieved by our own efforts; peace exists because of who He is. And, while "people [may] think they want peace in the world, what they really need is peace in their hearts," (Billy Graham. Peace for Each Dayp. 267). He is our peace (Ephesians 2:14). His peace reigns in our hearts when we learn to put aside our will for His.
Teach God's commandments diligently to your children.
Don't keep it a secret: tell others how you find peace. Wear jewelry, hang scripture, and mark your doorstep with reminders that He is your peace. Testify to the battle raging for our souls. Then, share about the God who now fights for you (Deuteronomy 3:22). Encourage them to get to know their Savior through His word so together we can:
Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one God.

In response:

  1. Consider current areas of conflict in your life and visualize what laying your weapon down looks like in each circumstance. One-by-one surrender each battle to the Prince of Peace.
  2. Recognize that your work with Christ is necessary as we study Proverbs 31:20 and 24. Last week, we delved into the differences between poor vs. needy and spread vs. reach, then applied the verse to our role as Christ's Bride. Next week, we're looking into girdles, merchants, and how they fit into our role as Christ's Bride.  

Bible Verses and Quotes 

Bible Verses 

  • "I give you peace, the kind of peace only I can give. It isn't like the peace this world can give. So don't be worried or afraid." John 14:27 CEV
  • "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." Isaiah 26:3 KJV
  • "In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8 ESV
  • "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." Matthew 5:9 KJV
  • "Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.'" I Peter 3:11 NLT

Quotes

  • "I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am." - Sylvia Plath
  • "Peace begins with a smile." - Mother Teresa
  • "You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist." - Indira Gandhi
  • "Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." - Albert Einstein
  • "If you don't know the guy on the other side of the world, love him anyway because he's just like you. He has the same dreams, the same hopes and fears. It's one world, pal. We're all neighbors." - Frank Sinatra

We'd Love to Know:

Which verse or quote gives you a different perspective of peace?


Activity Suggestions

Sing Songs about Peace

Pair lyrics with actions. Play the songs often and encourage learners to sing along. Challenge learners to sing the song without the music.
Lessons on Peace

1st-3rd Grade 

3rd-6th Grade 

From United States Institute of Peace 

Discuss "Would You Rather..." Questions

  • Rest near a waterfall or in a mall?
  • Talk or write to your friend when there's a problem between the two of you?
  • Sign a petition or stage a protest to draw attention to a problem?
If you would like three "Would You Rather...?" questions for every September day, download this Wolfe Stew PowerPoint or get it (for free!) at our TPT store.

Take on the Family Challenge

Discuss current conflicts. Work together to plan a course of action for each member's most troubling situation. Check-in, encourage, and revamp if necessary.

We'd Love to Know:

About your favorite peacekeeping resource.



We’re excited to share one more day with you and wish you JOY for Today and HOPE for Tomorrow. 


Your Partners in JOY Finding,
Red stew bowl with steam rising from top. Wolfe Stew crawled on front.

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Find even more JOY for Today in our monthly calendars, holiday, and seasonal posts.

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