“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14.27
Peace is a word often mentioned over the Christmas season. It sits well with images of snow covered fields, families enjoying each other’s company and people laying aside their own needs for the happiness of others. That is all very well if this is the reality of Christmas for you, but if it is not, then are you destined not to experience this elusive thing called ‘peace’?
In this passage, Jesus rather surprisingly says that whatever worldly images you come up with that convey peace, they are nothing like the peace that he promises. The peace of which he speaks is a peace that draws us away from our troubled hearts and our fears; it is a peace that flows from his presence with us despite whatever else may be going on in our lives.
It starts with us acknowledging this wonderful truth – Jesus is there, with you, now! He is not with you to critically observe your life or to judge you in any way, but he is there for the hurting, the broken, the disappointed, the weary and the tired. This is the truth – but we need to acknowledge it and tune into it for it to touch us with its power.
Wherever you might be now, pause to reflect on the truth that Jesus really is close to you and that you can share with him whatever is on your heart. This is the beginning of peace.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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