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Archive for November 12th, 2013

With the calendar rolling past Remembrance Day (or, for retailers it happened after Halloween … or was it Thanksgiving? or Labor Day? or the first day if summer?), the Christmas season is starting to raise its head. From now on we will be encountering the countdowns, the markdowns, and the rundowns.

f3de55abcc80150ed770a2ba1ea778acIt seems appropriate that we would consider the ‘Christmas’ theme of peace on Earth the day after we remember those who have fought and died in the pursuit of peace.

But, what is perfect peace?

Is peace simply the absence of war? the absence of battle? the absence of conflict? of struggle?

Or, is peace something else? something more?

In the the last days that Jesus was with the disciples, his messages became more and more defining about who he was, that he was leaving them, and, as a man on his deathbed, intensely personal. Jesus was reassuring them, preparing them for life on Earth without having him at their side.

In the account in the book of John (14:25-27), Jesus defines this perfect peace :

“All this I have spoken while still with you.
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you all things
and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
Peace I leave with you;
my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Maybe the most important part of this passage is the reminder “I do not give to you as the world gives.” The peace we teach, and march and boycott for is not the peace that Jesus is speaking of

… not an Earthly peace

… not a peace that comes from a lack of war, a lack of conflict, a lack of disorder, a lack of struggle

But a peace that comes from the triune God … Father, son and Holy Spirit. It is the peace that passes (surpasses) understanding.

It is the peace that comes, not from world peace, or fulfilling relationships, or the perfect job, or well behaved kids, or a big bank account, or happiness, but from the joy-filled peace that having Christ in us gives.

It is the peace that Christ came to deliver.

Jesus tells us that with this peace our hearts need not be troubled, and we do not have to be afraid!

This peace can be present on the battlefields, in the hospital rooms, in the courtrooms, in the exam rooms, and any other places where peace may be unexpected.

In a sense, the peace the Christ brings rubs God’s victory, over death and sin, in the face of Satan, because no matter what plan of destruction Satan has for us in our lives, if we take hold of the peace that Christ gives, his plans have no power over us.

And that is peace on Earth … perfect peace!

Philippians4_7

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