peace & prayer

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Peace. We all want peace. I’m even willing to say that we need peace.

Consider Isaiah 1.16-18…
Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your doings
from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
17 learn to do good;
seek justice,
rescue the oppressed,
defend the orphan,
plead for the widow.
18 Come now, let us argue it out,
says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be like snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.

Listen up: God is merciful and kind; what God wants is for us to be at peace. Our brokenness is made whole by the goodness of God.

Sure, perhaps this is easy to believe on an individual level. But what about the world, right? Everywhere we turn we hear of war or rumor of war. And if the faux news reports aren’t adding fuel to the fire of hate, violence, and fear, then chances are they are reporting on what seems to be the earth turning in on itself. Earthquakes, hurricanes, and wildfires range alongside us as a result of our neglect to properly care for the earth. Things are changing; there’s no doubt about it.

To say September has been an overwhelming month is an understatement. Where do we turn for answers? Where do we look for love? How is peace ever going to be achieved? There’s so much angst in the world I'm willing to bet most of us, even the most Reformed Presbyterians, offer up a Hail Mary for some relief.

Fortunate for you I have the answer to peace. You ready?

Start within. While we may not be able to control the actions of others, we can control our own. If we want peace, we must begin with making peace in our own lives.

Think of it this way, okay? Almost everyone has had to perform at some point in life. Whether it was for a recital, a game, or speech, practicing was a part of the process leading up to the performance. If we wanted to perform well, it began with how we practiced. The same goes for peace. If we want peace in the world, we start with cultivating peace within.

How do you do that you ask? Easy: pray.

Take the time to be with Divine Love. Like, really take the time. The way you take time to sit with your beloved or your best friend. When we do this, we will arrive at the door leading to peace. (See Revelation 3.20)

This peace is the Divine within you. It is the same peace Jesus offers to the disciples in John. Remember? Jesus said to them and us:

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Christ dwells at the center of who we are and the longer we remain there, choosing the ‘better part,’ the easier peace will come into our lives because God, by the Spirit, transforms us into Christ and we become agents of peace. Of course, this can’t happen until we “argue it out” with God. Who, by the way, will always have the last word which will be…
blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Do you want peace?

Start close in. Take the first step towards God’s mercy and love. God will lead you to where you need to go: yourself.

After all, that’s where the Holy dwells...

[Adam Quine, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Lincoln]


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