Jesus, the Peaceful One
Stephen M. Veazey, president of Community of Christ
If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. -Romans 12:18
The love, message, and embrace of Jesus Christ are broad beyond measure. By their very nature they must be shared widely, or they are not being shared at all. They are not limited to just me, “my kind of people,” or some preferred nation, culture, or race. If we truly are moving toward and with Jesus, then the church community constantly will venture beyond all kinds of perceived boundaries and horizons to invite others to drink deeply of Christ’s life-giving water in loving community.
If we as Community of Christ truly are “on our way to him,” then Jesus’ passions and concerns will visibly be our passions and concerns (Doctrine and Covenants 164:9d). Any gaps between our views and his vision will be resolved as we move toward him! Not by trying to conform him to us. That’s what it means to be “on our way to him”! It is ongoing personal and communal spiritual transformation in Christ as a life-long adventure!
When 2 Corinthians 5:17 NRSV states “…if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away…,” it is talking about much more than personal salvation. It is proclaiming that if we truly are living and moving “in Christ,” we are becoming a new kind of human being within a new kind of humanity. Ephesians 2:15 (NRSV) further illuminates this truth by describing the ultimate work of Christ to “create in himself one new humanity…, thus making peace.”
Some authors conclude Jesus was the prototype or forerunner of a new “peaceful humanity.” They emphasize Jesus’ peaceful manner. Even when he experienced persecution and violence by crucifixion, he stayed true to his peaceful nature without returning violence for violence. His steadfastness on the cross as he suffered horrible violence reveals the truth that our common redemption and calling in Christ is to be “peaceful humanity.”
What if baptisms, confirmations, and observances of the Lord’s Supper in Community of Christ emphasized that calling in addition to conventional meanings? How might we think, speak, and interact differently as disciples of the peaceful One?
Scripture testifies that all creation waits “with eager longing” (Romans 8:19 NRSV) for peaceful humanity to appear on the world stage to turn the tide of hate, agony, and destruction. With that in mind, the central question raised by our text looms even larger. Are we moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One? Or are we retreating from Jesus by reverting to our old humanity and its destructive ways of interacting with others and creation?
(Excerpt from “Discover Your Future,” World Conference 2019 Sermon)
My ordinary life is a sacred place.
“…our everyday ordinary lives are also sacred places, or put another way, the sacred place of our living. As dwellers within the Sacredness of Creation, there is potential to be aware and appreciate the holy within the ordinary. You may remember times when it felt like you were seeing the world through God’s eyes. That’s a good description for what it means to live sacramentally-to sense divine Spirit amid daily activities.” -Jane M. Gardner, “Sacramental Living,” September/October 2019 Herald, p. 5
How are you invited to live sacramentally today?
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.