Peace? We Can Do That!
By Joann Condit of Phoenix, AZ, USA
He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. —Ephesians 2:15–16 NRSV
There are few comments in life that irritate me more than when someone, no doubt noting my age, says, “You can’t do that!” I feel morally bound to do it anyway. I can do whatever I make up my mind to do, or so my mother told me at an early age. She believed strongly in the power of prayer and a positive attitude.
Mother always corrected me anytime I showed a reluctance to try something new. “Joann, you can do anything in the world!” And then she would add the punchline, “…except become the father of a family.” Predictably, I always came in like the proverbial tide with, “Muh-thur!”
In this one instance of motherly wisdom, however, I proved her wrong. For long years, my husband bounced around the South Pacific on a copra schooner and later spent twelve years on assignment in the Caribbean. During that time, I did serve as a father, as well as a mother, to our family of three girls. Mom was correct to the letter of that homespun adage, but in spirit, she was off-base. I wish she were still around so I could point that out to her. She would have laughed in delight.
Wonderful suggestions of new ways to study, to worship, to meditate, to minister, and to serve are often met with blank stares. We then hear the flat statement, “We can’t do that.” The eager and accepting mood suddenly turns hesitant and then negative.
Jesus challenged us to create a new peace, a reconciled humanity. Do we say to him, “We can’t do that”? Nonsense! In an instant we have forgotten Christ’s promise to be there with us in every effort we make to serve. We forget the power of positive thinking. Sometimes we forget to pray for guidance. Let us remember we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength!
Prayer for Peace
God of Wisdom, challenge us to work for Christ’s mission of peace. Trust us. We can do it!
Spiritual Practice: Embodying God’s Shalom
Find a way to express and embody God’s shalom. Begin by prayerfully listening to your longing for peace. Become silent and imagine you can hear the groaning of the Earth’s people, nations, and creatures. Prayerfully open yourself to God’s yearning for peace and the divine vision of shalom. What act of justice, kindness, healing, or peacemaking does Christ challenge you to consider this day?
Today, God, when challenged to do something for peace which I feel is difficult, I will do it anyway.