Bring Peace, We Pray

I am wrestling with this writing.  Old Testament peace–shalom, meaning completeness, safety, soundness of mind, tranquility.  New Testament peace–eirene, meaning peace between individuals, also personal security and safety, of the Messiah’s peace.  Words I can know–really know deep down in my gut–and yet I crave.  My heart carries an ever-present ache for a world that has little peace.

In-boxes and texts and facebook posts piling up with audible moans for a palatable measure of peace.  News reels peel across the bottom of the t.v. screen, so we can read it while we hear it.  The whole earth is groaning for peace.  Violence, injustices, slavery, war-torn places we prefer not to think about for long.  Small children and adults alike living in circumstances we don’t want to fathom.

Truth be told, it can rattle the cage of the most stout-of-faith among us. Especially when our own stories, and those with whom we share the journey, are splattered with tears spent crying out for real and true-to-life peace.

And yet…and yet, I cling white-knuckled to the words of Jesus, the Christ, the awaited One, the God-with-us.  “I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart.  And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.  So don’t be troubled or afraid.”  (John 14:27)

This kind of peace is a gift for you and me, not offered in triteness, not wrapped in the world’s wrapping paper.  He has instructed and taught us so that we may have peace in, with, and by Him.  On this earth, we can be assured, we will have many trials and sorrows.  Don’t be afraid, dear ones.  Don’t be troubled.  But take heart, He has overcome the world.  (John 16:33). The long-expected Jesus has come, wrapped in cloths, bringing us peace.

This kind of faith takes some wrestling matches.  That’s okay.  The peace we hunger and thirst for–for ourselves, our loved ones, this broken world–is worth the battle.

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