Jesus therefore said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent me, I also send you.”

John 20: 21

 

The presence of the living Christ in our world can be highly disturbing. He asks for a lot, and He isn’t really willing to compromise on the things that He wants from people, ether. So, it almost seems like a paradox that these were the first words He said to His disciples after He left the tomb and appeared among them. Now Christ was certainly wishing for them to be at ease and to realize and understand that the person who stood among them was the same Jesus that they had known and loved and who had loved them over the last few years, but I think that Christ had much more in mind than just that reassurance. He wanted them to embrace the fact that they were called to continue His work of bringing the reconciling love and grace of God to and into the world; so, the disciples were to go out and to bring the essential message of peace between people and God and, thus, between people and our world.

 

Jesus knew and He wants us to understand that bringing peace is hard work, and it is a relentless process, for there is an enormous amount of energy in our world that is dedicated to creating turmoil, separation, and animosity. Also, our own natures tend toward the troubled, self-protective, and fearful sides of behavior. Still, Christ wants His deep-seated peace to rule our hearts and minds so that we will interact with others with the clear headed inner calm of Christ. When we do this we can make a difference in our homes, neighborhoods, and communities, and that difference will be a tangible expression of Christ’s love.

 

With this eternal peace well settled on us, we can speak the hard truths of God’s Word and still be heard as compassionate, and when we interact with others, the peace in our hearts will help to filter out our human defenses and it will allow a true dialogue to begin. The peace of Christ is something to accept and it is something to seek. You see, we humans just don’t naturally settle in peaceful places. Yet, in response to¬†our tendency Jesus says, “Peace be with you.” True peace is not something that is created by treaties, by force, or by governments. True peace is the result of individual people who choose to believe Christ and who are willing to set aside their human¬†responses and thinking in order to allow the Holy Spirit the opportunity to send us into our world as committed peace makers.