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From the President

December 14, 2023 | Dr. Jay T. Smith

A Prayer for Peace as We Close a Turbulent Year

“Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”


I write this letter one month away from the end of 2023. It has been a turbulent year in our world to say the very least. Poisonous politics in the U.S.; war between Ukraine and Russia; war between Israel and the Hamas in Gaza; rising tensions with China; a fifth COVID booster; soaring interest rates, and inflation across the board have made average American Christians anxious and stressed out.

Christianity Today editor, Dr. Russell Moore, shared his dismay in a radio interview that some conservative Christians were showing their dismay at readings from the Sermon on the Mount, saying, “that doesn’t work anymore, it’s weak.” New Testament scholar Scot McKnight shares his concern that American Christians have abandoned their pursuit of peace in favor of justified violence and warfare in his book, The Bible is Not Enough: Imagination and Making Peace in the Modern World.

The faculty and staff of YTI stand with Dr. Moore, Dr. McKnight, and millions of other Christians who abhor the rhetoric, the slander, and the violence. Politics have never been our God; and never will be. Politicians will come and go, none are anointed; only elected. We pray for their leadership, humility, and ingenuity for the sake of all Americans and citizens of the world.

This is the season of peace. Christ’s day is December 25th, and we anticipate His birth throughout the season of Advent. He is the Prince of Peace, the one who seeks to turn swords in plowshares and divisive words of anger into unifying words of love. Will you be a “Peacemaker” this Christmas? Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount states unequivocally, “Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9, NIV). Drop the swords my friends, stop putting faith in politics, and put your faith where it belongs—in the Prince of Peace.

Grace & Peace to You,

Dr. Jay T. Smith

President and Bridger Professor of Theology & Ethics

Dr. Jay Smith leads the Yellowstone Theological Institute as its president. Dr. Smith has served as minister of youth, music and as senior […]

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