Peace to the Whole Community
Blair White of South Jordan, UT, USA
Peace be to the whole community, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who have an undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ. -Ephesians 6:23-24
The concept of “Peace be to the whole community” can be quite the challenge. Doctrine and Covenants reminds us to “Be patient with one another, for creating sacred community is arduous and even painful” (161:3c). As summer winds down (and perhaps you’ve spent a week or more at a reunion or other camp in the last few months), you may be able to recall some of the arduous moments. Perhaps not everyone showed up for dining hall or shower house cleanup, and the work was left to a faithful few. On the other side of those frustrations were also special moments in worship or watching a young child walk about the grounds without a care.
In those difficult times, perhaps it’s the second sentence of the passage that makes all the difference. “Grace be with all who have an undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ.” You see, it’s not the grace of those who have a borderline relationship with the Living Christ that makes the difference. Rather, those with an undying love enable peace for the whole community to be known.
No matter if it’s at camp, our congregations, or in the supermarket, when we become expressions of grace because we live in the reality of overflowing grace toward us, the whole community changes. In our best moments we remember this, but when things are arduous it becomes much more difficult. Is there a word, symbol, or even a small object that could be in your pocket that can assist you in recalling this in the difficult moments of ordinary time? As I pondered that question for myself, I thought of a small vial of oil I carry nearly daily. Perhaps I can let this oil, oil that has been consecrated for healing, be my reminder. What will you choose?
“In God’s hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being” (Job 12:10).
All That Lives
Sit quietly and sense God’s presence flowing through the trees and all creation. Offer a prayer of gratitude for your connection to all that lives. Ask for grace to discern and carry out one small act of justice or healing that creates greater wholeness for the plants, animals, trees, waters, air, and land that are part of the community of creation.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.