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 NIV)
The greatest peace Christ gives rests in the very core of every believer. A fruit of the Spirit, a manifestation of the gift of grace, not to be hovered over lest a thief run with it. No one can take it from me, but my own flesh can sometimes keep me stirred with discord, discouragement, pointing at the world, screaming, “There is no peace!”
So I look and I don’t have to look far. The evidence overwhelms, wars, children sold into slavery, families crumbling, children killing other children, authority mocked, politicians flinging mud, yes, in this world there is trouble, “right here in River City”*. And my flesh cries out, ‘there is nothing you can do”, but my flesh is a liar.
I am grateful for the opportunities I have to be a peacemaker, to be a child of God, actively to go to war with the enemy, to sow peace through prayer, through proclamation, through action. To carry peace where there is discord and not run away from conflict. “Peace, Peace, Wonderful Peace”** can not be obtained without spiritual warfare and can never be fully obtained with physical warfare.
Everyday I have opportunities to be a peacemaker, in my relationship with Christ, with my family, with friends, with strangers, and even with my enemies. And I am grateful that the goal of peacemaking is to help others to find the peace that passes understanding through Jesus Christ, Our Lord, so all may be peacemakers and children of God.
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:1-2 NIV)
“Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know him and make him known; and through him, at all times and in all places, may give thanks to you in all things. Amen.” (The Book of Common Prayer, from A General Thanksgiving)
*From The Music Man, Meredith Wilson
**”Peace, Peace”, Warren Cornell and W. George Cooper, written at a Methodist Camp Meeting in 1889