Posts Tagged ‘#peace’

Peace …

a word that ignites images of a dove, an olive branch, the three lined peace symbol, paper cranes, an image of a lion and a lamb.

Today, this second Sunday in advent, it is peace that we consider, but …

not peace that the world gives

When we think of peace we immediately think of an absence of war, or conflict. This is garden peace. Peace that existed only in the Garden of Eden, prior to the entry of sin into the world, into the human condition.

The peace that the Messiah gives, this is not an absence of conflict or war, brutality or abuses. It is the presence of peace in the midst of conflicts, wars, brutalities, abuses and storms.

It is peace beyond our human understanding, for who can fathom a sense of peace while in the thick of struggle?

This is peace that comes from the knowledge that we are not alone in the storm. This is the peace that Jesus brought to the world, to us. Once he arrived and fulfilled his mission (which he is still fulfilling … in, through and in spite of us) he left us the Spirit, so that we would carry His peace with us.

What was promised in the Old Testament:

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Was given in the New Testament:

“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you” (Romans 8:11).

As Jesus was speaking to his disciples on the night before his death (John 14), it is clear that they were feeling anxious about his communications that he was going away. It was clear too, that he wanted them to know that they would be okay (he was offering them peace apart from his physical presence). He was consoling them, encouraging them, equipping them for what was to come.

He was also doing the same for you and I today, reminding us that his death opened the door to the Spirit to be with us, at all times, in all circumstances.

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.

John 14:27


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Hey reader …

did you know that we are in the midst of a pandemic?

did you know that Christmas is coming … but so much of what is part of our Christmas season, is not going to be the same as previous years?

do you feel tired?

Someone has said,

I saw this quote awhile back and it has been tossing and turning in my thoughts.

I think it stuck with me because … I am tired and

all I want for Christmas is to stop being tired

Do you know what I mean?

Do you feel the fatigue too?

I am tired of:

  • missing family
  • longing to travel
  • telling students to pull their face masks over their noses
  • death counts and numbers in hospital ICU
  • missing singing as a congregation
  • the days that are dark and gloomy and short on light
  • words like cohorts, bubble and anti-maskers
  • Christ-followers who are focused on ‘their’ rights in a broken world
  • the people who just won’t do what must be done so that we can be together
  • this pandemic … all of it

And when I focus on these things … then I feel even more tired!

When I focus on Christ, though I am still tired, I feel something else, something that provides strength, comfort and purpose.

When Christ is the focus of my thoughts, my prayers and my attention I have a relief of this tiredness through the peace that only he can provide …. an acceptance of God’s control in my life, in the lives of those I love … all in the midst of a pandemic.

When I give my attention and thoughts to the peace of Christ, I begin to experience relief of some of the fatigue. And through my reception of this peace, the tiredness isn’t as intense, isn’t the focus.

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.

John 14:27

“Come to me, 
all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

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A catch phrase that insurance companies often use is peace of mind. The idea being that if we have our life and stuff of life insured, we would, in turn, have peace of mind.

Insurance is also something that some use to describe why people should accept God’s gift of grace. The idea being that if we have been born again, or have accepted Christ as our saviour, is sometimes viewed as an insurance policy, or guarantee for our eternity.

It is as though,
if we buy the plan of salvation
our eternity is insured against hell.

Though I think that the Bible does speak to our eternity with Christ, it also speaks to our relationship with Christ being about more than just a means of protection for after this life.

It speaks to a life with him … right now.

A few weeks ago, I came across the following words of Beth Moore. The setting is in the midst of the desert. Moses is there with the Israelites, and has opportunity to speak with God in the tent of meeting. God wants Moses to lead his people toward the promised land, but Moses is not terribly confident in his own abilities and expresses desire to not be apart from God.

This is where Beth Moore does a little paraphrasing (lets call it an unauthoritative, but very applicable, translation 😉 ):

I’d rather stay right here in this howling hellhole of a desert and have You. Either we both go or we both stay. What I want is You” … then she goes on to say, “He’d tasted and seen. He knew. The Giver IS the gift.”
(Beth Moore)

Moses had experienced the freedom and ability to go to speak with God whenever he desired. All he had to do was to enter into the Tent of Meeting, and a cloud would descend on the outside of the tent, indicating that God was present. Moses knew the sweetness, the completeness of having access to the Creator, Father, Redeemer. He knew what it was to have the words of God spoken into his ears and onto his heart.

And he could not fathom life without him.

For Moses, he would rather live anywhere, even in the dusty desert with God … without him … presumably even the Promised Land.

His desire wasn’t for eternal insurance, for someday off in the future, he desired assurance of the presence of the one who wrote the policy and paid it in full.

John 14:24

It is true that we were created for a different world, but we were never created to live apart from our Creator …

and why would we choose to live without the assurance of his presence with us each and every day?

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