“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.
Christ is our peace. He made both Jews and Gentiles into one group. With his body, he broke down the barrier of hatred that divided us. He canceled the detailed rules of the Law so that he could create one new person out of the two groups, making peace. He reconciled them both as one body to God by the cross, which ended the hostility to God.
I work for L’Arche, an international network that brings together people with and without intellectual disabilities to live in community with one another.
There’s an old L’Arche story from the 1980s about a person with a disability named Jean Claude. Jean Claude and some friends from his community in France were visiting the Holy Land on pilgrimage. They were to land in Tel Aviv. At the time tensions were high, so there were many armed guards at the airport. As the L’Arche friends got off the plane onto the tarmac, Jean Claude started walking towards the armed guards.
The caretakers with him were extremely nervous because they saw the big machine guns. They were worried about what would happen.
Nonetheless, Jean Claude ran towards one of the guards, and when he got close, he pushed the gun aside and extended his hand in greeting.
The assistants saw the guard’s gun and were afraid. Jean Claude saw the guard’s humanity and wanted to be his friend.
God, may I have the courage to see like Jean Claude, to seek friendship and not division. Amen.
Go in the peace of Christ to give the peace of Christ to others.