Lyrics ring true — ‘Let There Be Peace On Earth’

Special to The Mountaineer
By Lucy Adams | Oct 16, 2012

During October 2003, I wrote the story of this song for The Mountaineer. It is repeated now because the message still rings in our hearts.
We yearn for peace in the Middle East, peace that is reported on the television nightly news and peaceful news on computer screens each day.
My question, “What can I do about it?” continues to be answered in the wisdom of this song. And, praise God, I can pray for the peace of those places, but I am only responsible for the peace that flows from my heart.
Our troubled world longs for peace. We are bombarded with reports of violence in towns and homes.  Our hearts are broken and we ask, “What can I do about it?”
Songwriter, Jill Jackson, wrote her answer to that question in the song, “Let There Be Peace On Earth.” As she wrote the phrase, “let peace begin with me,” that was her personal solution, regardless of the world situation.  Those words are the theme for the entire song.
Jackson wrote her thoughts in poetic form in 1955.  She had just come through severe depression and had tried to take her own life.  Through months of recovery, she found a new purpose for living.   It came while listening to a sermon on the radio. The preacher’s text was based on John 14:27 in which Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you.  My peace I give to you.”
Jackson’s heart responded to the invitation to accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.  In her weakened condition, she said, “If I live, I will put my life completely in God’s hands.  If I live, it will not be as the self-absorbed and tormented woman I have become.  I will try to be a window glass through which the light can shine.”
God’s light shone in power as she wrote the words about her own desire for inner peace which she prayed would spread into the world. The lilting melody was composed by her husband, Sy Miller, who worked for Jan-Lee Music in California.
In the 1960s, it was chosen as the theme song for UNICEF.  Its popularity carried it throughout the world. All ages and nationalities joined in deeper bonds of unity each time it was performed.
We, too, are filled with hope as we sing, “Let There Be Peace On Earth.” Our longing for peace is matched by our memory of God’s promise in Psalm 29:11, “The Lord will bless His people with peace.”
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