The gospel has two major dimensions: grace and peace. Grace is God’s loving offer of full forgiveness. Peace is the dividend in our daily living. The vertical dimension of the cross points to God who came down to forgive us for our lack of holiness. The horizontal dimension, the bar of the cross where the loving hands of the gentle Jesus were nailed, reminds us that we are to live in peace with each other. “Happy are the peacemakers,” he said, “for they will be called sons of God.”
Does it trouble you that there is so much conflict everywhere? Why don’t we seek solutions rather than stir up negative emotions with noisy, biting gossip? As a senior citizen I love the word peace. It has a soft, comforting sound. I long to experience its implications, to see peace at work in all relationships. Have we become so accustomed to disagreements that we really don’t expect peace? I am astonished at the billions of dollars the USA spends for military hardware to “keep the peace.” Can’t we just get along? Lord, have mercy on us.
God of peace, I pray for peace in all the broken relationships where I am involved. Teach me to be determined to get along and do it well with love and grace. Through Jesus Christ, Amen.