The peace of God which passes all understanding….
At the end of every Eucharist we pray for God’s blessing upon us. The traditional blessing in the Book of Common Prayer begins with words about God’s peace—and then goes on to say that this peace is beyond our understanding.
In this month of November in which we observe Remembrance Sunday with the Commonwealth Consuls General and the NATO Rapid Deployable Corp we reflect not only on what war has meant to us and our world, but we consider also what it might mean to have true peace –the peace of God.
The Hebrew word in the Old Testament is shalom, which means not just an absence of war and conflict, but signifies that deeper peace in which all people and all creation are in perfect balance and harmony amongst themselves and with God. Shalom is God’s kingdom revealed and fulfilled.
In the Sundays before Advent (which begins 29th November) the Common Worship calendar keeps a ‘kingdom season’ inviting us to measure our own lives and actions against God’s kingdom—against his peace which passeth all understanding.
Our goal as Christians is not to know about God and about God’s kingdom and God’s peace. Our goal is to know God in a true, open, and loving relationship and to live as part of his kingdom…his kingdom where peace and justice reign, and where the sorrow and pain of violence have no place.
Peace begins not with diplomats and politicians, but in the hearts and minds of each and every individual. We are called to be people of peace: in our homes and families, in our offices and places of work, in our schools, in our towns and cities. It is through the concrete reality of our relationships with others that we can begin to catch a glimpse of the ‘peace of God which passes all understanding.’
As the days draw in and the weather turns colder, let us not turn in on ourselves, but rather use our time of reflection to consider how our own actions contribute to the peace and well-being of the place in which we live.
Yours in Christ, Vickie
Revd Vickie Sims
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