Jesus often greeted His followers with the words, "Peace be with you".
But what do they mean?
Peace is not the absence of war. It is more than that. Peace is a state of being.
Peace is a condition whereby we are free of fear, real or imagined. Where we have no concerns or worries, either about ourselves or our loved ones. Peace is when we are in total harmony in our relationships.
This world will never know peace until it learns to forgive.
Let us repeat this ... This world will never know peace until it learns to forgive.
The lack of forgiveness is the greatest obstacle to peace. Whether it is lack of forgiveness between an individual and another, or a nation and another, the result is always the same ... total absence of peace.
Peace starts with you. Just one person.
Unless you are at peace with yourself how can you possibly share peace with someone else?
Many people are not at peace within themselves because of real or imagined obstacles they have created for themselves. These obstacles can be in many forms: lack of forgiveness perhaps, or about worries and concerns about the future, or about loved ones, or about finances or health.
Lack of peace could also be because we do not really love ourselves. We find faults in ourselves whether physical, emotional, spiritual or whatever other reason we have to be too harsh on ourselves. If we do not love ourselves then how can we possibly love others as ourselves - as Christ commanded?
The answer is to be honest and examine what is it within us that holds us back from having total peace and of sharing it with others.
It is not easy. An exercise in self-examination can be hard and perhaps, in some cases, send us in a further downwards spin of negativity and leads us to dislike or hate ourselves for what we are ... or imagine to be.
So let us start from basics.
You are a child of God. Created by God and loved by God. Whatever you consider yourself to be one thing is for certain. You are unique and you are perfect. There are no rejects from God's production line.
Circumstances in your life may have brought you to where you are today. You are right now where God wants you to be.
But this is not the end of the line. It's the new beginning. It all starts here. Right now.
By genuinely and with as much trust and dedication and faith that you can muster you turn to God right now and ask for a new beginning.
You ask for Christ's peace as He has always offered when He walked this Earth. You promise that as best as you humanly can you will from now on trust in Him that He has your best interest in hand.
When you pray "Thy will be done" you do so with confidence knowing full well that His will is for your good.
It will not be easy. There will be stumbles and falls. But you will pick yourself up and start again.
It is said that on His way to be Crucified Jesus fell three times because of the weight of our sins. But each time He got up and continued on His Mission.
Let that be your example when your faith falters and the obstacles become too much.
Trust in God and ask, once again, for Christ's peace.
And share that peace with others.
Peace be with you. God bless.