Merriam-Webster defines the word peace as a ‘state of tranquillity,’ or a state of ‘harmony’ in personal relationships. While these feel like accurate descriptions, the scriptures actually give us a more full and more robust vision for true peace. Peace that comes as a gift from the triune God is the only peace that can ultimately make all things right on the earth.
God’s peace ushers in a new world of possibilities. It ushers in a new Kingdom – a Kingdom that invites us in, and then requires us to live in a way that displays this kind of peace to those around us. God’s peace isn’t defined by walls, disagreements or ‘lines in the sand.’ It is one that invites us into a new way of living – a peace that isn’t won through violence or control, but through submitting our expectations, preferences, pride and ultimately our lives to one another and the One that calls us His.
This is the kind of peace that changes everything. This is the kind of peace that the birth of Jesus brings to the world … and brings to us.
THE PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.