Peace I give you, my peace I give to 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)
Are you searching for peace? Most of us are whether we realize it or not.
Many days, especially Monday through Friday when I’m caught up in the pursuits of the world, I feel a restlessness and anxiety. An unhappiness. A troubled and distressed spirit. A longing for everlasting joy and fullness. A desire for peace.
I don’t ever find that peace in what the world gives. The world often takes away my peace. Instead, I find it in the workings of the Spirit...
At the end of a confession.
While serving the poor at a local food and clothing pantry.
During encounters with the sick.
While ministering with my best talents.
When spiritual reading.
In playing with or caring for a child.
After I receive the Eucharist.
Singing in the church choir.
Reading God’s word and being touched by a word, phrase, or reflection.
After prayer for an extended time.
In the comforting and affirming words of another believer.
I think this is what Jesus means when He says “I give it to you not as the world gives.” The world suggests that peace comes from a luxurious vacation, a trip to the spa, a yoga practice, or self-indulgence. Maybe these give us momentary peace, but Jesus is the only one who can give us lasting peace.
We must look for the Spirit in our daily lives to receive the peace the Lord promises. Where is the Spirit present? Where is the Spirit working? Where does the Spirit show up?
Surely the Spirit can be found in prayer, worship, service, Sacraments, creation, and fellow believers, but also in the present moment deep in our hearts, where we can always remain in communion with God. We need only to call upon the Spirit, "Come, Holy Spirit."
Jesus wants to give us the best peace, the only peace that can still our hearts and draw us closer to Him. But it’s only in the ways of the Spirit where we can find that peace -- not in the ways of the world.
Come Holy Spirit, this Pentecost, give us the Lord’s peace.