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God’s Peace

My morning ritual consists of waking way too early (usually around 4:30 am), spending time in prayer and mediation, fixing coffee, and then reading two chapters in the Bible. At the moment, I’m currently reading through the Gospel of Luke each morning.

Two days after the shooting at our local STEM school (less than 3 blocks from our church building), I found myself in Luke 9 and 10. With the events of Tuesday’s shooting fresh on my mind, I want to share with you what I believe God showed me in those two chapters.

In Luke 9, the disciples are faced with an enormous task – how to feed 5,000 people. Like the disciples, we often look at the enormous need in front of us and immediately focus on our limited resources.

When Jesus tells them, “You feed them”, he isn’t being mean-spirited. He is telling them that they have enough to do the job – they just don’t know it.

What do they have? They have him.

The second story is found in Luke 10 and it’s when Jesus sends out 72 of his followers on a preaching mission. Contrary to conventional wisdom, Jesus tells them to leave behind things we would find necessary for a short-term mission trip: money, bags, purses, and even extra sandals.

He tells them to say “May God’s peace be on this house” whenever they entered someone’s home.

In light of this week’s events, I began to wonder if that might be something more than just an odd ancient custom.

I began to wonder what it might look like if an ever-increasing number of people did that today – and not just at homes, but while shopping, in line for coffee, and or walking between classes.

In both cases, it is God’s presence that we need the most.

Fish and bread are the tangible ways of feeding the hungry but they are not the ultimate solution. New laws, better laws – these may be needed and necessary.

But without God’s presence in a person’s life or a community, the peace we seek will continue to be elusive.