The peace of Christ must control your hearts—a peace into which you were called in one body. And be thankful people.
When I was a teenager, I was kind of a mess. Oh, I wasn’t that different from any other fifteen or sixteen year old boy in the 70’s – in fact, I was a pretty good kid by some standards. But I was a fearful kid who had anger issues, and I tried to cover up my insecurities with a know-it-all attitude. There were real opportunities to go down difficult paths, and yet God continued to put saints in my way that saw the real me, and loved me into the Kingdom.
When I think back on those faithful influencers, what I remember the most is that they were people of peace and gratitude. They were people who knew who and whose they were, and in that knowledge they weren’t easily tossed to and fro by the winds of chaos and emotion. As important, they were always thankful for God’s gifts, however small they were, and their spirit of gratitude was contagious, always pointing to the positive instead of the negative.
These days, it seems, many of our churches are more taken with the spirit of fear and scarcity than peace and gratitude. Given the chaos of the world, it’s easy to understand why, but as Paul told the Colossian church, peace and gratitude are characteristics of what it means to be the Church together. When we live out these values, we proclaim to the world our assurance that we worship a God who transforms the turmoil of the world into serenity, and the scarcity of the world into abundance.
Does your church reflect peace and gratitude? If not, what could you do to make those values more a part of your communal life?
Lord, thank you for the influencers in our lives who point us to you, and who set for us an example of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Help me to do my part, so that the world may know peace, and be transformed by your love.
In Jesus’ name. AMEN.
The Rev. Jay Voorhees
Interim Coordinator of Communications, Tennessee Conference