Are You at Peace?
Were you just looking forward to a bit of peace and quiet, or did your Easter weekend come and go amidst a flurry of chocolate, holiday traffic and family gatherings? Now that the public holiday distractions have passed and all has returned to ‘normal’, what lasting memory of Easter do you have? Did you get any rest or was it all a bit frantic? Did you have peace of mind or did life’s cares and yet more sorry news headlines keep your mood more sober?
Hopefully Easter actually was a really special time for you and far more than just another opportunity to have a few days off from work and from the relentless daily treadmill through Monday Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday . . .
One of the things that makes a difference is when there’s a real sense of peace, a sense that despite this and that, ultimately, all is well! However, are days of peace genuinely possible nowadays in a world that has many and major concerns? Day by day, it becomes increasingly disturbing and challenging to read our newspapers or catch the TV headlines. War and conflict abound in many areas of our world. There is debt, stress, anger, desertion, endless stories of human tragedy, folly and pain splashed all over the newspapers and magazines every day of the week, and closer to home, also hidden, no doubt, behind many ordinary front doors in our community. There are many places in our lives that seem to find no peace. Most of what we hear is bad news. Where will the world find peace? Where will you and I find peace? And what does any of this have to do with Easter?
On Easter Sunday, Christians celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ because in His death and resurrection a means of making our peace with God was provided for us all. The resurrected life of Jesus becomes ours when we choose to believe in Him, and from Him comes peace to face life each day. Not a peace that comes from the absence of human suffering, conflict or sorrow. Not even a peace that comes from not being at work or not having had any personal problems to deal with recently. Instead, it’s a peace that comes as a gift from Jesus Himself and brings a deep sense of wellbeing within that enables and empowers Christian believers to know peace despite the day to day difficulties of life. It’s a peace that isn’t dependent upon circumstances and this is simply because it isn’t our peace! It’s His peace! “Peace I give to YOU”, Jesus said.
If you attended a church service over Easter, perhaps the Minister, perhaps those around you greeted you saying, “Peace be with you”. Those words are the same words spoken by Jesus after His resurrection as He reassured the lonely and terrified disciples in the Upper Room.
“Peace be with you” isn’t supposed to be a liturgical sound bite. Neither does it mean “Hey - your life’s in a bit of state. I wish you some respite, a bit of quiet and rest!” It’s actually a prayer for Jesus Christ to be with you personally so that you may know His peace which He said He would give to us and leave with us (John 14:27). He told us not to let our hearts be troubled and not to be afraid. How can any human being aspire to a life like that without a supernatural wholeness, peace and wellbeing that comes from God and rises above the troubles and the fears?
PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7, ‘The Message’ translation: “Don’t fret or worry! Instead of worrying, pray! Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the centre of your life!”
So as you finish reading this short piece, this prayer is for you - “May His peace be with you, today and always”
Poynton Christian Fellowship