Monday, May 14, 2018

The Fruit of the Spirit: Day 5: Peace


Peace, in the Bible, isn’t simply the absence of war. It is the state of being in which everything is whole and as it should be – “shalom” in Hebrew. True peace removes the urge to be at war.  Because of this, there can be no shortcut to peace. We can’t find it by ignoring the issues we need to confront. The prophet Jeremiah rails against false prophets who cry “ ‘Peace! Peace!’ when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 8.11) Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem, so often a battleground through the centuries, because it had not known “the things that make for peace” (Luke 19.42).

Peace is not just an outward or political state in the Bible. It is something that emerges from within. If our hearts are not at peace, our world can’t be at peace either. But Jesus came to proclaim “peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near;” Throughout his life, death and resurrection, he made peace where there had been chaos and discord, peace that calmed both inner and outer storms of enmity and distress.  In Mark’s Gospel, the story of the calming of the storm when Jesus tells the wind and waves “peace, be still!” (Mark 4.39), is followed immediately by the healing of a man whose inner peace has been taken from him by demons, who today we would say that was mentally ill. (Mark 5)

·         What does peace mean to you? When did you last have to “make peace” with someone or something?
·         Where are you aware of needing to find peace in your own life? What needs to change in you in order to find it?
·         Pray: for those you become aware of today who need peace.

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