Week 1: PEACE AS A PRACTICE
Our world is pulsing with worry. We live in a culture that includes overt fear — fear of war, disease, violence and the unknown — as well as constant underlying anxiety that goes even deeper, leaving us to wonder, “Do I have enough? Am I enough?”
We wrestle with enormous global problems that leave us feeling helpless, while simultaneously grappling with personal struggles often marked by feelings of scarcity. As things feel precarious around us, we tend to hold on tighter. With tight fists and clenched jaws, it grows harder and harder to reach out for the peace that God is gently offering us. How can lasting peace possibly grow here? What ground can peace take in our terrorized world or in our terrified hearts?
But here’s the truth: we are people created for peace. And as we draw closer to God, we can find a path back to that peace. We can see clearly all that is still wrong in our world and our lives, but we can also see that we are not at the end of God’s story. And as we breathe deeply and remember this reality, we are finally ready to begin to practice real peace.
This week, we will be meditating on passages of scripture found in John 14.
On the night that he was arrested, Jesus talked with his disciples about the events that would soon take place. Knowing that his arrest, crucifixion, and his eventual ascension into heaven would likely be chaotic, disruptive, and even traumatic for his disciples, Jesus assured them that their hearts need not be troubled. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you,” he says. “Do not be afraid.” Even in times of upheaval, we can access the steady peace that Jesus left today.
Read this week’s scripture slowly. Make note of what stands out to you as you read. Ask God to open your heart to what he has to say to you throughout this week.
John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
John 14:25-28 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
This plan is provided by World Relief.. For more information, please visit: http://worldrelief.org