Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. 2 Thessalonians 3:16 NIV
Have you ever wondered what true peace would look like? It isn't easy to comprehend because we've never experienced it. Too often, we see "peaceful protests" turn deadly, demonstrating not peace but the darkness of our hearts. There can only be peace when parties agree, a situation where all win.
One of the titles for Jesus is Prince of Peace. Throughout his ministry, we find examples of peace at work. For instance, Christ came when Israel was again oppressed by authoritarian rule. Yet, rather than lead the people in an uprising -- what they were looking for -- He led their hearts back to God, the source and hope of peace.
The Holy Spirit gives us peace. When we are distressed and annoyed, we can turn to it for inner peace. Following Christ's example and listening to the Spirit, we can also bring about peace with those around us, our families, friends, and neighbors; if each person were to do the same, the ripples of peace would carry to all corners of the world.
Peace is not easy! We even disagree on how peace should look. When we disagree, we must engage in Spirit-guided conversations. Coming with humble, truthful, and open minds and hearts praying for God to show us a new way.
God of peace, we thank your Son, the Prince of Peace, and the Holy Spirit, which gives us peace. Please give us the courage to come together in our differences. Open our minds and hearts to the hope of peace. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.