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The most common message God tells people in all of scripture is some form of the phrase, “Do not be afraid.”  Whether it comes from the voice of Yahweh, angels, Jesus, prophets, or Holy Spirit – whether we understand it as a command or an invitation – God makes it clear that, in him, we do not need to be afraid of anything.

If “fear” is what we give up, then Jesus has told us what will come in its place – “Peace.”  This is Jesus’ frequent call throughout his earthly ministry, “Peace be with you.”  It is the teaching he shares with his disciples, to be a person of peace who helps others find peace as well, through Jesus’ love.

It’s based in this message of Christ that the Pentecost Team has chosen to lead us through this season with the theme, “Peace to This House.”  In scripture, “this house,” takes on many meanings.  Houses were literal buildings of families, like we have today.  They were also references to whole groups of people, like the House of Israel, or the House of Jacob.  The Bible tells us that each of us is a temple – a house of God.  And, especially at Pentecost, we remember God’s Spirit coming to unite believers in the house of a community we call the Church.

The breadth of how we can understand the Bible’s use of the word “house” certainly seems reflective of the breadth of places in our current world so in need of exchanging fear for peace.  Nations suffering from war and disaster, our individually wrestles minds and hearts, our ever-evolving church, groups of oppressed peoples, there is a never-ending list of those in need of Christ’s peace.  And, as Christians, part of our mission is to help bring Peace to This House, in whatever form that “house” comes.

And Pentecost is a unique time in which we are reminded of how we can first come to our own peace, and then pass it onto others.  Throughout Pentecost, we are especially focused on the work of God’s Spirit.  It is Holy Spirit that helps us to feel God so intimately.  We say that Spirit guides us, teaches us, moves us, inspires us, activates God’s gifts in us, helps us hear God’s will for us, comforts us, and provides so much of the mysterious and wondrous connection between us and God.  Spirit brings us closer to God and, the closer we are to God – the more we can feel the very real presence of God in our every moment – the more we can let go of fear and find the peace of Christ.

As we enter into this new season, I invite you to consider the “houses” in your life.  Where is fear and where is peace in them?  And, in each one, how can you come closer to God, and so closer to a life filled with peace, ready to pass that peace onto others?

Peace in the Grace of Christ,
Kevin

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