Peace I leave you; my peace I give you."
- John 14:27 NIV
And so it was that Jesus gave his disciples a loving blessing of peace. He spoke these words during a time when he knew that his days on earth were nearing their end. He was addressing his closest followers, and it would appear that he was merely saying farewell and leaving them a heartfelt wish of peace and well being. But, of course, he was doing much more. He was not just wishing them peace; he was leaving them His Peace. This is the peace that is real and alive. This is the peace of Christ, and like Christ, it is always present and vital. It is the peace that will always be. It is the peace that has love at its source. And so it is.
Peace and Love
Love begets peace. It is love that gives it life and makes it work. This is Christ's peace. It was given to us, it was left with us, and being a part of God's love, it lives in us. We feel it when we let it be a part of our lives; we feel it when we let it be the source of all our words and deeds. We are at peace with ourselves when we remember that we are to love ourselves. We are at peace with those around us when we remember that we are to love our neighbors. We increase the peace when we understand that the whole of humanity is our neighbor. We love our neighbors when we recognize and acknowledge God's light and love in all people. We see the light in their eyes. As each of us appreciates and celebrates our own unique culture and individuality, we continue to possess the illuminating wisdom and knowledge that we are all one in this light.
We may not always feel at peace with ourselves or our neighbors or with anything else for that matter. This is when we should remind ourselves of the sublime power of God's love. We remind ourselves through prayer and quiet thought. We become still. We breathe. God's love always calms us; it lessens our worries and gives us strength. It empowers us; we let go, then get going. We put this love to work by giving it away. We share this love with all, beginning with those closest to us and then working our way outward. We may be sometimes on and other times off regarding feelings of peace, but God's love is not sometimes; it is forever and it is always at hand. And so it is for Christ's peace. It is here and it is now, and it wants to be a part of our lives and included in all our moments, in all our thoughts and actions. Perhaps we should pursue it.
The Pursuit of Peace
The pursuit of peace is peace pursuing us. The pursuit of peace is accepting that which has already been given. The pursuit of peace is using what we already have. And what we have is Christ's peace. We pursue peace when we trust in God's love. And we are putting this love to work whenever we bring a little peace to any situation, large or small. We do this through our compassion and understanding, and by being kind and forgiving. We respond to the concerns of others as if they were our own. We pursue peace when we turn our eyes toward any good deed we happen to witness, and we pursue peace when we are thankful for any little bit of peace that we experience in our lives. We pursue peace when we value humanity and this good earth. We do our best to be good to others, knowing that by doing so, we are being good to ourselves and the world. This is the beginning of the knowledge of Christ's peace, from which we gain the wisdom that in this world there is no "us and them" -- it is all us.
Peace on Earth
Peace on earth is a concept that never seems to correspond to reality. It is something we may aspire to experience, or at least imagine, as it is an often expressed blessing during Christmastime. But peace on earth does exist; it is God's love inside us and God's love in the world. It is real, as Christ's peace that was left with us is real. It exists and is expressed through our goodly actions. It may be just a wish, but like the words of Jesus, it is a wish that has God's love behind it, and with this in mind, we pursue it. Like any pursuit, it begins with a single step. A good way to start may be to allow God's love and accept the peace that was given us by Christ Jesus. We continue on this path by seeing this peace in everyone. We have been told to love our neighbors as ourselves. We love God when we love all people. We are all one in the light of God's love. Peace on earth is this love working. Peace is love expanding
© 2020 Paul K Francis