The Lantern

The Path to Peace

Setting Our Feet on the Path to Peace

In Luke 1, once John was born and named, Zechariah’s “mouth was opened and his tongue set free” (Luke 1:64). He was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied about the life and ministry of John in Luke 1:67-79. Zechariah then said to John,

And you, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace (Luke 1:76-79). 

Zechariah likens the coming of Christ to the rising of the sun, proclaiming that his son John would bear witness to the One who would give light to those sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death, while setting their feet on the clear path to peace. We now know that in Jesus the mystery of God revealing and reconciling himself to humankind through his son has been revealed. As a result, “since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). This is the centerpiece of the good news, but there is more.

Jesus also promised to bless his peacemakers, calling them God’s children. By definition, a peacemaker is always someone who takes initiative. It is also clear in the scriptures that a peacemaker is someone who actively works to reconcile people to God and to one another, as well as to live in peace with everyone as far as it depends on us (Romans 12:18). We often have the toughest time with the personal side of peacemaking, and that’s why Jolene Kinser’s “Peacemaking in China” blog series, related to personal peacemaking in Chinese cultural contexts, has been especially meaningful to me.

How often do we say or silently conclude, “there are certain teachings in Scripture that are almost entirely overridden by the influence of culture,” or “that simply won’t work in this context?” Taking the initiative to be a personal peacemaker requires a Lordship step of faith in any culture, and I have learned so much from my Chinese brothers and sisters who have courageously shared their stories throughout this series. The love, courage, humility, and actionable, Holy Spirit-dependent prayer in these life accounts have stirred me to continue to be a learner and to seek out new growth in personal peacemaking and reconciliation.

Available Soon!

I have enjoyed reading and re-reading all the posts in Jolene’s blog series, and was glad to discover that Jolene’s new book, Changing Normal: Breaking Through Barriers to Pursuing Peace in Your Relationships, will be available on Amazon starting January 14, 2024. The book will feature more examples of how prayer can impact movement from being in conflict to experiencing restoration in a relationship. We all need life examples to help us keep our feet on the path of forgiveness, reconciliation, and personal peacemaking, so this will be an encouraging contribution. May our God of all grace and peace continue to keep us steadily walking on the path to peace!

Merry Christmas and happy New Year from the entire ChinaSource Team!

Kerry Schottelkorb

Ways to Pray

  • Praise God for the love, joy, and peace that are ours to receive at Christmastime! See “Silent Nights, Resilient Lights: Christmases in China” by Bright Road.
  • Praise the Lord and pray for the ministry of Thriving Leaders which makes strong resources available for empowering Chinese pastors and church leaders, in a collaborative way. See “Thrive Globally: Empowering Chinese Church Leaders with Thriving Leaders” by 刘老师.
  • Ask the Lord that our Chinese brothers and sisters would be wise as serpents and harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16) in the current securitized environment and to be able to be salt and light (Mattew 15:13-16) bringing the good news to their friends and neighbors. See “Securitization of Everything” by Peter Bryant.
  • Please pray that many in China will encounter Immanuel this Christmas through viewing the full-length feature film Why the Nativity?, available for the first time in Mandarin (both simplified and traditional characters) this Christmas. See “A New Christmas Film: Why the Nativity? by Turning Point Staff.
  • Lift up our brothers and sisters in China, that they would be persistent in their response when facing conflict in relationships. See “Prayer First” from the “Peacemaking in China” series by Jolene Kinser.

News and Notes

This Christmas and New Year

We are so grateful to finish 2023 by worshipping our Lord Jesus Christ together. Thank you for your friendship and partnership throughout the year. We would be thankful for your year end financial support as we seek to start 2024 on good fiscal ground. Our Heavenly Father has opened many ministry doors to ChinaSource in the coming year and we want to be faithful to answer his call in every area. May you know his rich grace in 2024! If you would like to make a gift today, please click here.

ChinaSource Team News

  • On Wednesday, December 6, Joann Pittman participated in a roundtable discussion with author and journalist Ian Johnson at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City. The topic was religion and civil society in China.
  • Brent Fulton and Kerry Schottelkorb hosted a ChinaSource Connect Event on Saturday, December 2, for a number of leaders representing a variety of churches and ministry organizations.
  • On Sunday, November 26, Kerry Schottelkorb preached at the 35th anniversary of the Evangelical Community Church in Hong Kong.

In Case You Missed It

A selection of recently published items:

Subscribe to receive new content by email.

Share to Social Media
Image credit: Charlie Harris via UnSplash.
ChinaSource Team

ChinaSource Team

Written, translated, or edited by members of the ChinaSource staff.          View Full Bio

Are you enjoying a cup of good coffee or fragrant tea while reading the latest ChinaSource post? Consider donating the cost of that “cuppa” to support our content so we can continue to serve you with the latest on Christianity in China.