Devotional Thought of the day:
19 That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said.
John 20:19 (NLT2)
7 Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Philippians 4:7 (MSG)
Whatever be the facts about this method of deterrence, men should be convinced that the arms race in which an already considerable number of countries are engaged is not a safe way to preserve a steady peace, nor is the so-called balance resulting from this race a sure and authentic peace. Rather than being eliminated thereby, the causes of war are in danger of being gradually aggravated. While extravagant sums are being spent for the furnishing of ever new weapons, an adequate remedy cannot be provided for the multiple miseries afflicting the whole modern world. Disagreements between nations are not really and radically healed; on the contrary, they spread the infection to other parts of the earth. New approaches based on reformed attitudes must be taken to remove this trap and to emancipate the world from its crushing anxiety through the restoration of genuine peace.
This post isn’t about global politics, nor is it about gun control, or any other political issue.
It’s about you and me.
It’s about how we deal with each other, and those around us.
It is about finding peace and rest in a world that doesn’t know peace, and to be honest, doesn’t know conflict. In a world where the absence of major conflict is “assured” by the doctrines like “mutually assured destruction”, we still find smaller conflicts, fueled by the same people that won’t fight each other, because our weapons stores say we are at peace. And as the above, 50-year-old section points out, the disagreements are really and radically healed and the crushing anxiety still exists.
This same picture takes place in our own lives, as we become more an more insular, trying ot achieve peace. We avoid confrontations, we flee from disagreements, lest they become fights, we see people not getting married because splitting up is somehow less damaging than getting a legal divorce. We even see this in the church, as churches shrink without any consideration, or as denominations fight over property in court, rather than working with each other, confessing our own sins and unfaithfulness. (and both sides are always sinners in such)
The problem is that we are looking for the illusion of peace, more than peace itself. We don’t see mercy, that incredible act and attitude of love, as essential to real peace.
We don’t see a need for Jesus, and the peace He gives, as He loved us enough to die for us, to remove that sin which ensnares and divides us. He can really and radically heal the divisions among mankind. The peace He brings removes the crushing anxiety that we dwell oppressed by.
It settles us down, knowing that God would love us so much, that He would be so merciful, that He not only died for us, but that He rose, and came back to us, and will come back for us.
It is only understanding this, that we are loved, that we are cleansed of sin and injustice (same word as unrighteousness)
Jesus is our peace, He is our rest, He is the cure for our brokenness. Simply because His love creates the healing in us, that frees us, and enables us and creates the desire in us to love others more than we care for our own selves.
So we pray, Lord, open us to Your love, help us to see the changes your mercy creates in us, and help us not to avoid or flee those you send s too, no matter how uncomfortable, Lord help us to love them as You do. AMEN!
Catholic Church. (2011). Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World: Gaudium Et Spes. In Vatican II Documents. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana.
Devotional Thought of the Day:
Bless your persecutors; never curse them, bless them. 15 Rejoice with others when they rejoice, and be sad with those in sorrow. 16 Give the same consideration to all others alike. Pay no regard to social standing, but meet humble people on their own terms. Do not congratulate yourself on your own wisdom. 17 Never pay back evil with evil, but bear in mind the ideals that all regard with respect. 18 As much as possible, and to the utmost of your ability, be at peace with everyone. Romans 12:14-18 (NJB)
4 Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited, 5 it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances. 6 Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth. 7 It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NJB)
Never reprimand anyone while you feel provoked over a fault that has been committed. Wait until the next day, or even longer. Then make your remonstrance calmly and with a purified intention. You’ll gain more with an affectionate word than you ever would from three hours of quarreling. Control your temper. (1)
How quickly we are ( okay – I am) to send a scathing rebuke across the cypberwaves!
We see something really idiotic, or vicious, or heretical posted, and we re-create the cyber version of MAD – mutually assured destruction.
Please read carefully, it is not that we shouldn’t respond, but it is how we should respond. With love, with caring, with the goal of reconciliation and not just confrontation. ( Yeah I know I am preaching to me more than everyone else) But if we don’t hear this, if we aren’t reminded to love, if we don’t bear the cross we’ve been given – for their sake, we find out that we will also suffer.
For we will have abandoned the peace of Christ, we will have walked out of the fortress, that mighty fortress that is our God. We will have tried to become the conquering savior of FB or twitter… and chosen a path to deliver it from evil that is not the cross. At the cost of destroying each other.
So today – if you have to do it – maybe not wait a day – but take a five minute walk… before hitting enter.
And while you do, pray,
“Lord have mercy on me… a sinner”
Escriva, Josemaria (2010-11-02). The Way (Kindle Locations 185-187). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
- Do they know of your trust in God from your FB postings? (justifiedandsinner.com)
- Facebook, Memes and Christlikeness (justifiedandsinner.com)
- Grateful to be used… (justifiedandsinner.com)