The Gift of Peace

The dictionary defines peace as a state of quiet, freedom from civil disturbance, harmony in personal relations, security/order in community, a pact to end hostilities. In the biblical/theological sense, peace is an inner quiet/assurance, lack of war/violence/conflict, unity healing, reconciled relationships, justice and eternal life.

Jesus, the Prince of Peace told stories about healing, reconciliation, and loving even our enemies. Jesus, the Prince of Peace overcame death with eternal life. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, preached and lived God’s vision of shalom (the Hebrew word for peace) for the world.

Peace is not life without tension, suffering, or pain. Instead the peace that comes from Jesus helps us deal with these things in a creative way. Inner peace is not produced over night; it is a learned process brought about by prayer, spiritual disciplines, self-knowledge and understanding, and developing a deep and abiding relationship with God.

I light a candle of peace
for the soothing of my inner turmoil and uncertainties;
for all the places where war is destroying nations and people;
for strife brought about by racism, sexism and greed;
for those who work at mediating and resolving conflicts between peoples;
for the peace and goodwill promised to the shepherds as they worked
with their sheep on that winter night.

O God of peace, send down your peace on our world and fill our hearts with peace!

Joyce SohlJoyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, and quarterly retreats and art exhibits.