What do we mean when we speak of peace of mind, peace in one’s heart, and peace as a way of life?
There is a sense of stillness and calm as a pervasive way of being as one considers what it means to be at peace.
There is personal peace, community peace, national peace, and global peace.
When it comes to considering peace it is significant to note that the first thing Jesus says when he returns and visits the disciples after his death on the cross is: “Peace be with you.” And just to make sure they understood what he was saying to them he said it again: “Peace be with you.”
"Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
Three things about this scripture at the end of the gospel narrative which are at the heart of the gospel message are as follows:
Peace is important. Peace is possible. Peace can be promoted and shared.
“Peace I leave to you, my peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Why is peace so important? It is because it is so utterly different than the workings of the world around us. It is not about earthly power or might. Rather it is about the spiritual strength we have through the Spirit.
We hear Jesus say: “I am giving you the breath of God the Spirit of God that lives in you and goes with you always. This is the Spirit of truth and life.”
This same spirit enables us and gives to us the peace of God. We possess the peace of God.
Further in this text we hear that Jesus says: “I am sending you out into the world in peace.”
After Jesus tells them to have peace, he goes on to say: “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
On this second Sunday of Advent we acknowledge and focus on the peace that surpasses all understanding.
It is eternally true that the Peace of God is important. It is completely true that the Peace of God is possible. And it is emphatically true that the Peace of God is to be shared with all.
May the Peace of God be with you now and forevermore! Amen