"My Peace I Give"
This gift was given by Jesus in his last days: “Peace I leave with you: my peace I give. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Peace. Shalom. The deep sense of wholeness, health, well-being. What is this peace that passes all understanding? How do we know when we have that peace? What words can even describe this gracious gift - so desired, so beautiful, so necessary to living in this troubled world? God speaks and things happen.
“I am with you always.” “Love one another as I have loved you.”
“Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
Words! Words of love, encouragement and vocation which call us to action as we live our daily lives through good and bad days. The Word made flesh.
This peace, so hard for this human to adequately describe, has been given to me through written words, spoken words and the loving actions of a beloved community:
- When my spirit was calmed and settled after reading scripture when circumstances had shattered my life: “The Lord is my light and salvation, whom shall I fear.” (Psalm 27)
- When friends have spoken comforting words and just sat with me “I am here with you.” “I will not leave you.” “I am praying for you.” “I am here to help.”
- When words of confession and forgiveness are said and a relationship is restored
- When watching a gorgeous sunset after a satisfying day of beginning or finishing a project
- When holding my newborn children and grandchildren and feeling awe and a love so intense I could hardly bear it, especially at their baptisms
- When words in a sermon opened my eyes to a new way of serving and living love
- When singing in worship with the whole congregation as one voice, “It is well with my soul”
- When overwhelmed with gratitude for an answered prayer
- When participating in the sacrament of communion and the bread and cup are lifted up, “Do this in remembrance of Me”
- When hearing the words at the memorial service for a loved one, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies: and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die”
- When God breaks into ordinary daily life and you have that “aha” moment and want to shout “yes,” for you have experienced the living God at work in the world
- When one experiences a sense of knowing that one is loved, is here for a purpose created by our living God for his purposes
“It is finished” were Jesus’ last words on the cross. He had bowed to the will of his father. And then there was the wonder of the resurrection and the words “Go into the world. Make disciples of all nations. I am sending you. Do not be afraid. I will be with you always.”
“Go in peace.” “You are my beloved.” “I will be with you always.” How can one not go out with peace, unafraid, knowing we are not alone!
All thanks be to God for his spoken Word.
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Dove’s Nest, helping women
who are battling homelessness and addiction