"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you." - John 14: 27 (King James Version).
The world offers three kinds of peace.
There is the peace of the palace, of having all the stuff, all the best stuff.
There is the peace of the fortress, of having high walls, impregnable defenses.
And there is the peace of escape, of "getting away from it all."
All have, to be sure, their attraction.
The peace of God? None of the above.
"The peace of God is the confidence that God is God and neither our gains nor our losses are ultimate. It is the truth that God loves the world, is for all creatures, and is present with us in every endeavor to make real that love in concrete ways. Hassles as we go through life neither prove nor disprove God's presence and therefore neither create nor void the peace of God." (Fred Craddock)
Oddly enough, the world's three forms of peace — palace, fortress, escape — all take us out of the world. The peace of God sends us into the world, there to live as ministers of reconciliation and joy.
May God's peace be with you this day, and always. Amen.
Tony Robinson, a United Church of Christ minister, is a speaker, teacher, and writer. His newest book is Called to Lead: Paul’s Letters to Timothy for a New Day. You can read Tony's "Weekly Meditation" and "What's Tony Thinking?" at his website, www.anthonybrobinson.com.