One minute you’ve lit a candle, settled yourself into your favorite chair, and invited the Spirit to settle your heart. Beginning the day in peace and trust, you’ve made promises to yourself and to God about how the coming day will be. Then, life arrives with a roar, and suddenly you are Wile E. Coyote trying to blow out the fuse on a stick of dynamite, lit by your own hand.
Why is peace so hard to come by?
In this Lenten season, we’re pondering the gift of Jesus’s sacrifice, and in doing so, preparing ourselves for a true celebration of resurrection on Easter Sunday. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul chooses to focus on the gift of peace that comes as we are “brought near by the blood of Christ”:
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.”
(Ephesians 2:13, 14)
Paul is describing a two-fold peace in these verses and in those that follow. Peace with God comes as we are reconciled to him, and what follows is (or should be) peace with others as we are brought together in our shared need for grace, forgiveness, and understanding.
Jesus is Our Peace
What Paul describes (“he IS our peace”) seems to be more intimate than simply extending peace as a commodity, separate from himself. Jesus’s act of becoming our peace comes at great sacrifice, and the text describes it in two different ways: “by the blood of Christ” and “through the cross.” It is no small thing, then, that we are able to receive forgiveness and then to extend it to others; that we have been reconciled to God and can, therefore, be reconciled to those who have wronged us; that we have been welcomed into God’s family so that we can throw down the welcome mat for those outside our safe in- group.
- What “dividing walls of hostility” is God bringing to your attention today?
- What peace-loving actions do you sense God leading you to initiate as a response to his peaceful presence in your life?
- How can I pray for you as you seek to live your way into the truth that Jesus is our peace?
Because He is our peace,
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