PEACE is in the center of God's design for our world. We Christians confess Jesus to be "the Prince of Peace." Scripture teaches us that resurrected Christ visited disciples and spoke the message of PEACE: "PEACE be with you." (Luke 24, John 20) "The Kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Romans 14:17) God desires to heal broken relationships so that PEACE will prevail in God's relationship with us and our relationship with one another.
We experience PEACE when we encounter God. We often lack inner peace because we do not appreciate how much God loves us. We suffer from guilt, shame and anxiety. We often feel alone and abandoned. No matter how much we accomplish, we doubt our self-worth and feel we do not measure up. No matter how hard we work to make others love us, our hearts do not find true peace. Through worship we open ourselves to God's encounter with us. We believe only through our encounter with God, we can experience forgiveness and unconditional love. Only when we know deep down in our soul how delighted God is with us, we experience inner peace.
We learn to nurture PEACE in human relationships with one another in a Christian Community. God's gift of inner peace allows us to nurture peace in our human relationshps. The love and forgiveness God has shown us lead us to practice the same love and forgivenss toward one another. Peace is not simply an absence of conflicts, but proactive experience of love and forgiveness. As we seek to love imperfect friends, we appreciate what it takes for God to love us. When we seek to love one another with Godly love, we believe God is fully revealed in our midst. (I John 3:12) Practicing this peace-ful relationship in a Christian community in turn strengthens our inner peace as well.
Our pursuit of peace goes beyond our small community. We embrace our identiy as light and salt of the world. (Matthew 5:13-14) Our peace cannot be complete when we focus exclusive on peaceful relationships within our small community. Instead, we pray for peace in this world and acknowledge that we have significant roles in pursuing the peace in our global community. Our inner peace and loving relationshpis within our community enable us in proclaiming peace in our world both in words and actions.
We trust that ultimately peace will prevail. Someday, we will have a complete peace in our relationship with God and in the global community. Until that time we will resist temption of cynicism. Wheather signs of time is hopeful or not, we will cling onto hope and faith God gives and and press on toward God's ultimate peace. So help us, God.