Monday, September 15, 2014

Peace Ruling the Heart

Monday, September 15, 2014
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.  Colossians 3:15a
Paul said to let peace rule our hearts.  If there is a missing element in our culture, peace is my first nominee.  We live in a noisy-in-your-face-grab-mine-while-I-can-steal-yours-if-I-can kind of world. 

There is a haunting song on the Southern-Gospel charts some years back called “Peace”.  It tells the story of folks who are doing what we all do, trying to get through the day – and they’ve about given up.  

The repeated lyric is:

Don’t need your love, or your sympathy,But I cannot go on living without peace…

Our existence is filled with what the great old hymn states as fightings and fears within, [and] without[1].  There is precious little peace to be offered by the circumstances of life.

But Paul never said “let the circumstances of life rule in your hearts”; he said to let peace rule there.  

I took a picture one winter’s night in 2006 at an accident scene.  It was just after the Sunday performance of Merry Christmas North Carolina.  Elizabeth played in the orchestra; on the way home she got clobbered head-on by a car with a driver who took the “Merry” part of Christmas too seriously…he was operating on rocket fuel! 

The reason I took the picture was because when Elizabeth called me I raced to the scene, and what I saw was so very odd.  You expect to see people in shock, weeping, angry, broken-limbed and broken-hearted over the mangled car you love.  What I saw was a small crowd of onlookers who always gather at a scene, along with the police and rescue squad. 

But the odd part of what I saw was because several members of the church had rushed to stand with Elizabeth to wait for me.

Larry (in the middle) was grinning like he’d just gotten a large whiff of the dentist’s laughing gas.  Charlie and Elizabeth were laughing like somebody had just won the lottery. 

This was odd, seeing as they were standing beside my mangled Buick.  But these three are God’s people; they were staring at my mangled Buick, but it was peace that was reigning – not the circumstances of life. 

That is the bottom line reality about those whose hearts have truly been touched and transformed by God’s Holy Spirit; God’s peace will rule.  And only God’s peace can sort out the priority of people over things. 

That’s peace ruling in a heart!

For You, Today

If your circumstances rule, why not have an election?  Place God on the throne of your heart.  Give peace a new chance today. 
You won’t laugh because of bad things; God will give you grace to rejoice in spite of circumstances!

[1] Just as I Am, Without One Plea, Elliott, Bradbury, The United Methodist Hymnal, p.357

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