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
As I think about the coming week, and my sermon preparation for Sunday, I find that I can imagine myself as one, sitting on the hillside and listening to Jesus begin to speak of peace. Realizing that Jesus, also known as the, "Prince of Peace," is one who does not cling to his divine power. When tempted by Satan to turn stones into bread while fasting in the wilderness, to being challenged to jump from a great height just to see if angels would rescue him before reaching the earth, he turns away from these temptations, and journeys to a hill and begins to share, "Blessed are the poor, the gentle, those who mourn, and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness; blessed are the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers and those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness" (Matthew 5:3-11).
I suddenly realize I cannot keep my eyes from this man who speaks to my heart. He honors the journey of so many, touching those who are no longer able to walk, curing those who are blind, and allowing for words to be heard by those who have been silent. I cannot look away from the one who becomes weak with the weak, and who is rejected with the rejected.
I realize that Jesus has become the source for all peace.
I have to wonder how is it that I can have this peace, and be an instrument of peace to others?
I suddenly realize that it can be found in my own vulnerability. In the places where I feel most broken, vulnerable, doubtful and afraid. But how can this be? Because there, in these places, lies the familiar ways are stripped away. I am no longer hiding in my own self-sufficiency. In my most broken and weakened places is where the peace of Jesus lives.
Finding our way to claim that peace remains an unknown until you also sit, and listen. Because with this peace comes a heart that will no longer focus on the brokenness, or the disappointments that this world seems to have provided. In this place, you will discover the true peace that surpasses all understanding.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2020
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.