The Quest for Peace

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you… Do not let your hearts be troubled…”  This is our perpetual pursuit – the great quest for true peace – the peace and serenity of God. Some have called this the illusive fruit.  We seek it for ourselves and the world.  We seek it at home as we try just about anything – medication, herbal supplements, sleeping aids, and meditation – relaxing and searching for peace.  We seek it in our relationships.  We enter counseling to find peace within ourselves and with one another.  We read books, listen to commentaries, and ask for advice of close friends and newspaper columnists to help solve relational problems.  We try to find it in the solitude of personal time when we are by ourselves.  But it is an endless quest – at least, in the places we are searching.  We all search in the wrong places! True peace comes from the Creator of peace.  Jesus tells us in John 16:33, “In me you will have peace; in this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world”  In ancient Hebrew the word used is “Shalom”, which refers to the state of integrity, harmony, serenity and completeness within a person’s being.  Peace is not merely the absence of struggle but the abiding presence of calm.  This is the recognition that in the midst of struggle we can stay present in God’s love and peace. As we head into the summer season, let us seek after this peace; letting all our anxieties rest upon the Lord.  So often our worries make us forget who is in charge.  We always fall prey to the danger of letting our agendas become more important than the Lord’s.  One of the important places to continue our search for this eternal peace begins with corporate worship and prayer in church on Sunday mornings.  This is one important way we are reminded of just who is in charge. If you are like me, you are ready for warmer, slower days.  These days are here!  Please remember, St. Stephen’s does not close in the summer months.  Every Sunday at 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM we are here in Oxford worshiping the Lord, feeding our souls, and seeking that eternal, grounding peace that transcends all agendas.  As Jesus says, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  With this peace, we in-turn go forth into our communities through the love and strength of our Lord as vessels of God’s all-loving, all-powerful transforming work!  “May the peace of the Lord be always with you!”

Published by ststephensoxford

Episcopal Church in Oxford, North Carolina

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