Reflections and Musings

Peace Remains But Does Not Reign

Hopefully old John Wesley will forgive my paraphrase (replace “peace” with “sin” and you get J Dubs’ version).John Wesley

I’ve been slowly working through Hidden in Christ (a deep reflection on Col. 3:1-17). Today’s word is Peace: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace” (Col. 3:15). Nothing all that revolutionary, right?

The main idea (I think) for Paul and for Jim’s reflection is Christ’s peace (shalom, wholeness) is to be the marker of Christ-followers. In board meetings, church councils, disagreements among friends, Christ’s peace should reign, this is a sign, a witness, pointing the world to something other than business as usual.

What I realized this morning is how rarely I let the peace of Christ rule in my heart. Don’t get me wrong, I give great good theological advice and counsel. I know how to tell others to heed Paul’s words.

But, there’s a bit of a disconnect in my own heart; it’s a little more like discord and a little less like peace.

Which is kind of ridiculous upon further reflection. I’m not a Syrian Christian facing the possibility of a chemical weapons attack or being labeled “collateral damage” in a drone strike. I’m not an Egyptian Christian facing the prospect of watching my place of worship destroyed and having my life threatened.

I’m an American Christian, afforded the luxury of having my peace upset by:

  • jealousy of not having the “stuff” someone else has
  • others who don’t hold my “position” on ____________ issue
  • taking a small personal over-look or minor affront and brooding over it
  • worrying over trivial health issues

The list could go on, but you get the point. The peace and wholeness of Christ doesn’t and won’t mean lack of these impulses, but it will mean that they (I) won’t reign. As long as I’m trying to rule my own heart, my peace will look more like a family feud than the peace I’m called to as a member of the body of Christ.

If the peace of Christ rules in my heart, then I’ve got a better chance of that peace ruling all my interactions and conversations.

“Gracious Abba, I so badly need your peace. I need it in my own heart, and I need it in the many relationships I have. Help me to see and feel your presence and power, your protection and provision, and to live in peace and harmony with everyone, even when we disagree. Amen.” (Hidden In Christ, 160).

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