The peace of God, it is no peace, but strife closed in the sod. Yet, let us pray for but one thing, The marvelous peace of God.
Those are the words from the final verse of one of my favorite hymns, They Cast Their Nets in Galilee. It is a hymn that I sang at my ordination and one that I choose for special times of worship throughout my life. Those words remind me of what it means to live my faith in the world.
You know during holidays when it seems much of the world is about the number of shopping days left? Or when Good Friday is a time when you are at work and your heart and mind are on a hill in Golgotha? Each week we join together in the prayer that Jesus taught us, praying that “God’s kingdom come, God’s will be done, On earth As it is in heaven.” Each day as we watch the evening news we look around and see the chasm between this earth and the way we imagine God intended this world to be.
Seeking to live faithfully does not mean that the ills of the world simply disappear. Seeking a life of faith doesn’t mean that suddenly the world will recognize and respect our faith. In fact, throughout history, we see that the people of God have faced seemingly insurmountable odds. We see God’s people often at odds with the ways of the world. We see that living as God’s people, seeking God in all things, often puts us at odds with what we see around us.
The peace of God, it is no peace. In other words, a life of faith can be very difficult. But, and this is a huge but, seeking God and to live as God’s beloved is what we do. We can do no other. God’s peace is the assurance that in all things and in all places and in all people, our God is always with us. Whatever joy, whatever tribulation, whatever bliss, whatever sorrow, our God never abandons us. Paul writes, “I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is Christ Jesus our Lord.”
And such assurance even amidst troubling times is the assurance that leads us to know more fully God’s amazing peace.
The Rev. Sarah Nelson