The peace of Christ

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, "If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes” — Luke 19. 41-42

Peace is not mere quietude; it's harmony. What makes for peace is not an ideology or a political strategy or any formula. It is active engagement in relationships marked by compassion, respect, nonviolence and justice. It requires self-sacrifice and the willingness to reconcile and connect across perceived “otherness.” It requires the desire to live in harmony with one another and care for each other's well being. It requires us to honor others, no matter how different they may be. It requires us to be vulnerable, and when we receive ill treatment or even violence it means we do not return it. It requires forgiveness. In other words what makes for peace is love.

It's not an idea, but a way of relating. And the only way to know it is to experience it. To recognize the things that make for peace we have to receive peace. We have to experience the deep harmony, grace and connectedness in which God sustains our lives, so that we can live in that peace with others. So we come to Jesus' cross and behold the peace of Christ. In Jesus' peace, in his forgiveness and unfailing love and steadfast nonviolence we see how God loves and heals and forgives and frees us, how God gives of herself for the sake of reconciliation, how God suffers our violence and injustice and does not return it or retaliate. In the cross we see that nothing can deter God from living in harmony with us. And we see how inviolable our souls are, how it is God and not our own efforts that secures our life, so that we can have courage to risk for the sake of healing, justice and reconciliation, so that we can take up our cross for others.

Come to the cross, to the place of our deepest anguish, and find God there, granting peace. The peace of Christ be with you.

Deep Blessings, Pastor Steve

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Copyright (c) Steve Garnaas-Holmes unfoldinglight(at)hotmail.com