Peace St Lukers,
“peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I give to you not as the world gives. Don’t be troubled or afraid.” – John 14:27
“The Lord is near. Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7
“A child is born to us, a son is given to us, and authority will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, prince of Peace. There will be vast authority and endless peace For David’s throne and for his kingdom, establishing and sustaining it with justice and righteousness now and forever.” – Isaiah 9:6-7
“Then Mary said, ‘I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be with me just as you have said. Then the angel left her.” – Luke 1:15
Here we have many different scriptures defining peace. Peace of mind, calming anxiety, worry and fear. Peace that is the work of justice and righteousness in the world, a Kingdom authority that is not of empire worlds but of God. And finally, in the end, a peace Mary comes to be surrendering to God’s invitation to help deliver God’s peace through the Incarnate Jesus.
All different understandings and depths of peace, from the individual to the larger corporal understanding – and yet all come from one source – God, the Divine author of Peace. The Divine author of Shalom. Shalom and peace are the same word, but their meaning is a peace of heart, soul and mind much deeper than we often use it in our everyday language. Shalom peace is not the absence of conflict or the absence of war. Shalom Peace is wholeness, completeness, harmony which is also an understanding of salvation as well.
This week Mary in Luke 1 surrenders her life to help God deliver the story of Peace. We hope you will read Luke 1 to prepare to rehearse for worship this week. Melissa will be leading our message and I will be sharing in liturgy and baptisms.
We also recognize many of you are struggling with the idea of Peace, both personally and corporately in the world at this time. So we invite you to attend our Blue Christmas Service at 4:30 in the Sanctuary. This service will be a chance to find peace and shalom by claiming our grief and disappointment in this Advent season. This service will be a beautiful time to lay before God all that is in your heart and seek that peace that passes all understanding from our Divine author of shalom. You will see you are not alone as we come together to seek the comfort and peace of Emmanuel, God with us.
Until Sunday, may the peace of Christ embrace you and our world,