Thursday, December 18, 2014

Peace - 19th Day of Advent

Yes, we're still in the season of Advent, and today's word is Peace.  We're also in a time where the world seems to know very little peace, and Malala Yousafzai is now a well-known face, as a 17-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner.  In response, terrorists attacked a school and killed 126 children yesterday.  Malala's statement regarding this was clear:  "I, along with millions of others around the world, mourn these children, my brothers and sisters – but we will never be defeated." 

I think Malala fits the verse from Matthew 5:9: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God."  

The definitions of Peace surprised me, in that only two of the definitions are stated from a positive perspective.  All others define peace in comparison to a non-peaceful state.  It makes it quite clear that we would have a hard time defining something without the duality of its opposite (a rather Taoist viewpoint, but true, nonetheless).  

God's peace, however, seems to be defined as something wholly separate.  From John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."   

And it is the peace of God that is the question here.  We know that Christ often said "Go in peace."  We also know that He said, Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided:" (Luke 12:51-52)  This sermon from St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Virginia explains the seeming contradiction really well.

So in your meditations about Peace today, think about what peace means to you.  Have you felt/experienced God's peace?  Do you live in an area that's peaceful?  What makes it so?  And if it's not peaceful, how could it be helped to become so?

Activity for  the day:  In accordance with the concept of "finding Peace", think about someone who has made you angry or upset.  Forgive them to find peace in your heart.  Know that this may not get rid of the issues that need to be addressed, and corrected, but by letting go of the negative emotion surrounding it, you may see it more clearly.  The peace in your heart will spread as you address things calmly and reach conclusions that both of you can live with.  

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