Who can give you peace? Where do you find peace? What is peace? Does it come from within ourselves? Does it come from something that is outside of ourselves? Does it come from something I do or does it come from something I receive? Does it come from not disagreeing with others even when we are not confident that they are right? Does it come from an acceptance that it will not always be easy and that relationships will always be hard and so I must resign myself to that fact? Does it come when we are being passive or does it come from being active?
Peace comes as a consequence of wisdom and understanding; wisdom and understanding that comes from God – I fear God (I am in awe of God and I am in love with God and I am not God) and I long for His Kingdom to be fully revealed and at work in the world I live in not because I am afraid that I will suffer but because I am afraid that the world will not know the beauty and wonder of perfect love; that the world will never really live before they die. “The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9: 10, NIV).
As those who trust in God, peace is a consequence of being aware of God’s word for us and following through on that word. If I seek to be obedient to God and I do not have peace it either means I have not responded to God’s call or I have not heard God’s word clearly. How can we know peace when God’s word is being used to subject one person to the will of another? How can we know peace when one person is condemned to a life of poverty because we believe them to be cursed in accordance with God’s word? How can we have peace when God’s word is used to ensure some stay out of the Kingdom of God instead of God’s word being a call to open up the Kingdom of God for all people? How can I know peace when the Holy Spirit is aggrieved at all the abuses we perpetrate in the name of God (gender, race, age, sexuality, social standing)?
There is no peace that can exist when it stems from a wisdom of arrogance or insecurity because that can only bring jealousy and bitterness. That wisdom is not from God but it is foolishness that the world considers to be wisdom. That foolishness says that the fear of not being the fittest is the beginning of wisdom and a working knowledge of how to survive in this world is understanding. Survival does not bring peace.
Ensuring equality and justice for all is what brings peace. Making God’s love known is difficult because it is bringing the light into a darkness that does not want to be illuminated even though it needs to be illuminated. The most peaceful thing to do is not always the easiest thing to do, but unless we do it, we will not know the peace that stems from the call of the creator who offers us the privilege of restoring His Kingdom in the world, a Kingdom that belongs to all and is open for all.