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Peace Be with You

1 Peter 5.14b
Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
Following my graduation from college I had the privilege of traveling to London for a bit and working with Muslims on holiday. London is a popular destination for many wealthy people from the Middle East during the summer months. It serves as a refuge from the brutal heat of their home countries, but it just so happens to be a place where matters of faith can be discussed freely as well.

While there I worked alongside missionaries that had spent years discovering beautiful ways to meet and build relationships with people. They taught us a handful of phrases in Arabic to spark conversation, and the one that sticks with me 16 years later is the expression “peace be with you.” The reason why it stays burned in my brain is that it changed the tone of the interaction every single time; it was powerful. Some people did not take kindly to the New Testament portion of the Bible in Arabic being offered to them, but when I would say “peace be with you” as they left, even the hardest-faced person would turn around in surprise, smile, and say it in return.

The desire for peace is central to every aspect of our humanness. We long for it in relationships, in finances, in our physical and mental health, at work, and at home. You can find a million different programs, activities, self-help books, and religious organizations claiming that they have found the path to peace. But there is only one way to true peace that rises above any circumstance or situation and that has withstood the test of time. Friends, we were designed to yearn for peace because we were designed to yearn for our Savior, “for he is our peace” (Ephesians 2.14).

As we continually get to know Christ, as our minds and hearts are being transformed by the Holy Spirit, we begin to look at and experience all of life differently. In Eugene Peterson’s Message translation, 1 Peter 5.14b goes like this: “Peace to you – to all who walk in Christ’s ways.” Spending time with Christ, learning to walk in His ways and allowing Him to root out what is dead and plant newness, changes everything. Our hearts and our minds begin to process in what would seem to the world irrational or illogical ways because we grow more and more confident in the hope of who our life is now hidden in.

Our lives are no longer our own, brothers and sisters, and there is great comfort and peace in that. We have a big, good, kind, all-powerful God that loves us fully, and our lives are in His hands. That is why Christ’s people are able to have peace amidst the very worst of this world. Christ is our peace, and He lives in those who call Him Lord. Jesus said in this world we will have troubles and trials and sorrows, but we are to take heart because He has overcome the world and in Him we may have peace (John 16.33).

Cling to Him when nothing makes sense and all else seems dark. “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4.7).

Shauna Morrissey
Children’s Ministry Director    
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