Today’s Reading: John 16:33 (NIV)
33 [Jesus said] “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
How much would give for a little peace? We don’t have to look far to see the trouble we’re in. Wars rage on and children continue to go to bed hungry. The weather is changing, and for those who have no home to live in, this is a dreaded time of year. The stock market continues to tumble, and many are wondering whether their life’s savings from years of sacrifice and discipline will suddenly vanish. We are bombarded in the United States with political ad campaigns. Wouldn’t you like to see our politicians take their ad campaign money and use it to make a difference in the lives of those who are suffering around us? It is not enough to hear and see their faces 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on every news show and commercial coming across the wire. They are there, every time we log in on our computers, and just in case we might forget, we are deluged with telephone calls and flyers posted on our doors, reminding us to get out and vote. We wonder if this frenzy will ever come to an end. It’s enough to make one want to withdraw into seclusion until these elections are over. No, there is very little peace to be found in the chaos we find ourselves facing this day.
I found His peace this week at JC’s Java, Lindenwood’s coffeehouse. It’s every Tuesday night, and this has quickly become my favorite night of the week. Between work and studying for a midterm exam, I was a little road weary and ready to kick back with a cup of Java and simply listen to the songs and souls of some of my new friends on campus. Holding a hot cup of hazelnut coffee in my hand, I curled up on the sofa and began to unwind, as I listened to the students read poetry, perform a little hip hope, and sing. One of the singers announced to the group, “Now this song is a hand-clapper!” I put my cup down and got ready to experience a musical treat. As the boys began to sing the chorus to “I’ll Fly Away,” students got up and started dancing with each other! All across the room, folks were clapping, singing, laughing and dancing, celebrating the wondrous peace they have found in Jesus Christ. Now this is my kind of community! Nothing outside had really changed that night; the world’s situation was still as bleak as it is this morning. But in that very room, there was something different happening all around us. I could a sense a strong current of hope emerging out of complacency, sadness and fear. This change of heart is what our world truly needs.
I wonder if the disciples danced when they heard Jesus say they would find their peace in Him. How they must have been thrilled to know that even in this world of trouble, they could take heart, because Jesus Christ has overcome the world! We need His overcoming right now! If we are to find the peace that passes all human understanding, we must find it in Jesus. Now, this is news worth dancing for! Jesus will fill you with His peace, right now, right where you are. And all you have to do is ask.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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