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This month, we continue to be guided by our Pentecost theme, “Peace Be with You.”  While we usually think of the opposite of “peace” as “war,” I wonder if it isn’t actually “fear” that poses the biggest threat to being at peace.  It’s fear that ultimately leads to war, as well as all of the other disruptions to peace – anger, worry, judgement… .  When we become afraid, our sense of peace is lost and we’ll do almost anything to reclaim it.  In that attempt, we often say and do things that would be totally uncharacteristic if we weren’t in a place of fear.

Perhaps this is why God’s most common expression in all of scriptures is “do not be afraid,” and Jesus is so often heard to say, “Peace be with you.”  There is an invitation to allow a sense of peace to replace our sense of fear, any time we experience it.  How?  I’d say, love.

Because we are so loved by God, Holy Spirit is with us always.  Because we are so loved by God, there is nothing that can happen that could cause God to separate from us.  Because we are so loved by God, whatever life and the world brings, we are literally embraced by the Spirit of Christ.  Because we are so loved by God, that means all of us – even the people we love and may be worried about – are in the care of their Creator.

When we can feel this love in the core of our being, and when we can remember that God loves all of those around us with the same closeness, we have the choice to let go of fear and allow God’s peace to enter in.

When is the last time you tried this?  Intentionally letting yourself be at peace?  This is our invitation in this coming month.  Whenever you find yourself in a place of worry, anger, internal or external war, fear – pause long enough to remember that you and those around you are loved by an ever-present God.  Pray for the fear to be replaced by peace.  See what happens.

If we want to help a world that is longing for peace, it has to start with each of us working toward our own.  We can only spread what we have.

Peace in the Grace of Christ Be with You,
Kevin

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