“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” vs. 27
According to the world’s standards, peace is the absence of overt warfare and it comes at a cost. Lives are lost and cities and towns are destroyed as dominating forces duke it out for supremacy and control. When the bombs stop exploding and the shooting ceases, treaties are signed, winners exult, losers are humiliated, and peace is proclaimed. That’s not even close to the peace that comes from God through the Christ. What Jesus promised was the kingdom of God, a community of inclusive love with no humiliation for losers. It isn’t that the peace he offered was purely an individual matter…it was meant to be shared…but at its core it comes close to what we call serenity. Jesus wants us to live with untroubled and fearless hearts, not because our world is free of evil, but because we are in Christ, and there is nothing that can hurt or destroy us. Currently, we live in a climate of fear-mongering and threats. We’re told to be suspicious of those who are different and warned that enemies are all around. Those who are lovers of Jesus know that God dwells in them and will reject the manipulations of the powerful. Our call is plain–love of God and love of neighbor–and our reward is the peace that surpasses all understanding.
Thought for the Day: Why do politicians cultivate a climate of fear?