Peace in a restless world

This Sunday we focus on the Hope of God’s Peace. This comes as we watch the latest mass shooting unfold in Las Vegas Nevada and as we watch Israel destroy homes and kill innocent people in Gaza because of their religion and nationality. Peace in this day and time seems so very illusive.

I struggle as I try to write this blog post because even within my spirit, I find myself struggling to find peace. I toss and turn at night troubled by those who have hurt me, those who attack and belittle my family, my church, and my friends. My mind often wanders to the conflicts that remain in our world such as Gaza and Ukraine. I am troubled by the level of racism, xenophobia, bigotry, and hatred I see, not only in the world around me, but in the churches which claim to follow a person of color they call their Savior.

As we come to this time of year when we welcome the Prince of Peace into the world, I find myself wondering if this will be the year when we finally learn to embrace his message of love. Will this be the year when we finally end racism, bigotry, xenophobia, and hatred in our world? Only when we finally face these issues and end them will true peace start to fill the earth.

How do we find peace as we struggle for these changes in our world? It begins with a change in our own hearts. It requires us to investigate those dark spots in our lives that harbor those sins which separate us from one another. We must start by loving everyone, regardless of their race, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation, social class, or any other classification used to divide us.

Finding peace requires that we also take time in this busy season to stop and reflect on how we may follow Christ and his message more closely. We must ask ourselves, “How have I treated the Christ in those around me?” What can I do to spread the peace and love of the Christ to those around me?

Take a moment to hold the door for someone. Smile at someone. Offer to help or listen to someone struggling. Call someone you haven’t heard from in a while to check on them. These are all ways to show the love and peace of Jesus in this season of Hope!

Pax et Bonum!

Bishop Greer