And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. Colossians 3:15 (NLT)
This week we are exploring the kinds of spiritual garments a well-dressed follower of Jesus Christ will wear each day.
This one is my personal favorite.
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-steal-yours-if-I-can” kind of world. Our TV screens are filled with violence and chaos. The online community is what a friend of mine termed “dark and monstrous” in a blog post the other day.
So it is!
There was a haunting song on the Southern-Gospel charts a few years back. The song’s title was “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. 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 several years ago at an accident scene; it’s a bit of a strange scene.
My bride, Elizabeth, had been driving home from a Christmas concert in which she was part of the church orchestra. As she rounded a long curving turn she noticed the oncoming car was still several hundred yards ahead, but weaving erratically. In the split-second that seems to take forever, that oncoming car veered off the road, and then swerved back across the road and right in front of Elizabeth’s Buick. The head-on impact destroyed her car and brought months of therapy for Elizabeth; the other driver, somewhat fortified with a different kind of Christmas “spirits” didn’t get a scratch.
The reason I took the picture was that it was a group of the church family that had quickly learned about the accident and come to comfort Elizabeth. They were standing around waiting for the police to finish reporting, and for the tow truck to finish preparing our beloved Buick for the junkyard. They, including Elizabeth, seemed so very different from a typical collision scene; they were loose and laughing, and thankful. That’s not “normal” when your automobile has just been folded-up like a wad of loose-leaf paper after a head-on collision with a drunk driver.
Reality check: “Normal” for a believer is that God’s peace can sort out the priority of people over things. A Buick can be replaced and we all knew it; we were thankful my bride was alive and the young man driving the other car would have a chance to live past his early twenties.
That’s peace ruling in a heart!
Have you got anything that’s making threats against your peace today?
Remember that God said we are to let His peace rule; that sounds an awful lot like the choice is up to you.
 Just as I Am, Without One Plea, Elliott, Bradbury, The United Methodist Hymnal, p.357