“My peace I give you.” “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
As Christians, we're called to walk in the footsteps of Jesus as peacemakers. This peace appears to have two pursuits: internal and external. There’s the peace we seek within our own hearts, minds, bodies, and spirits. And there’s the peace we seek to enact in the world.
Pause. Inhale. Breathe in the peace of Christ.
Pause. Exhale. Breathe out the peace of Christ.
As you breathe with the scriptures this week, may you learn that you cannot exhale without inhaling, nor can you inhale without exhaling. So too, may you discover the single pursuit of peace.next >
When Jesus and his disciples had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret, anchored the boat, and came ashore. People immediately recognized Jesus and ran around that whole region bringing sick people on their mats to wherever they heard he was. Wherever he went—villages, cities, or farming communities—they would place the sick in the marketplaces and beg him to allow them to touch even the hem of his clothing. Everyone who touched him was healed.
Mark 6:53-56next >
Once again, Jesus reminds us that the ministry of peace is one of radical welcome. In our world, the world of western, 21st-century health care, we tend not experience the ugliness of sickness. We hospitalize our sick, we put our dying in hospices, we institutionalize our mentally ill. And in the process, we do not see the broken, sometimes disfigured bodies, traumatized spirits, and overwhelmed minds.
And yet that was the reality of what confronted Jesus. Broken, crushed, disfigured, and marred people crying out for healing. Jesus was able to stay and welcome all of it. Perhaps the cornerstone of his healing is that he was simply not willing to turn his head away. He was willing to look it in the face, to welcome it. To suffer with it.
1 John 4:18 tells us that “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” The ministry of peace is a lifelong journey of letting our fears die to perfect love.
Tim Moorenext >
Jesus, thank you for showing me your radical love.
Help me today to breathe in the next baby step of love: to surrender my fear, to let go of my self-protecting walls.
And in doing so, help me to breathe out in the next baby step of peace: to embrace those around me who need the peace you offer.
Go in the peace of Christ to give the peace of Christ to others.
Tim Moore is the Executive Director/Community Leader of L’Arche Atlanta (www.larcheatlanta.org). L’Arche is an international network of faith communities that bring together people with and without disabilities to live in community together. When Tim is not doing L’Arche, he enjoys disc golf, basketball, Indian food, and Spades (the card game!).
It Is Well with My Soul
Jim McConnell - reverbnation.com/jimmcconnell