1 May 2018
Have you noticed when you ask someone how they are these days the most common response is, “busy!” If you answer with anything other than “busy!” you can feel like you’re letting the team down. Isn’t life supposed to be hectic? Isn’t perpetual social interaction the new normal? We live in an age of intense social (media) connectedness, but it appears reports of loneliness are growing at such a rate that the British government has now taken the step of appointing a ‘Minister for Loneliness.’ In Australia, we have rising standards of living, good levels of nutrition, fair general education, relatively low unemployment and a reasonable social welfare safety net, yet so many feel sad, empty or depressed.
Jesus makes a radical offer in today’s gospel:
Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you,
a peace the world cannot give,
this is my gift to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
Jesus offers us peace.
It’s a quality of peace that cannot be found anywhere else. You won’t find it in financial security; it’s not in popularity with your peers, it’s not in getting heaps of likes on a post, in fact, it’s not in any form of success or adulation that the world offers us, as good as those things may initially feel.
The peace that comes from knowing Jesus, being touched by His Spirit, welcoming His presence and hearing His voice is like nothing else on the Earth. The gospel today insists that the equation is defiantly simple: know Jesus, know peace!
There is an imperative as well though: “Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”
Our job is to guard our hearts.
Today, resist trouble and fear and welcome Jesus instead, the Prince of Peace Himself.