13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”—Luke 2:13-14 (NIV)
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away (aka New Jersey), I lamented to my mentor: “Where’s that peace the angels promised?!” She replied, “It comes from within.”
That was annoying to me the Jersey Girl—because my mentor was so right in so many ways. Peace in my life isn’t dependent on the state of the world, or the church, or my family. It depends on how I see all those things! Yes, my life can feel very non-peaceful in a world full of scary news and upsetting facts. Still, it’s up to me whether or not I internalize those events and things, or I decide to focus my insides on something else.
That “something else” is what the Church is all about. Yes, we are here to worship God, and teach about the Bible, and feed the hungry, and stand up for justice, and care for the sick. Our primary function, however, is to serve God with our whole heart and mind and soul; to allow God’s presence deep within ourselves so that we live life assured and loving and loved. Our primary function as Christians is to live assured of God’s presence, not to make ourselves feel better (although that will happen), but to make God’s world closer to God’s plan.
The “something else” we all seek is available to us young or old, healthy or sick, rich or poor. It is available whenever and however we open ourselves to truly be moved and used by God’s presence in our lives. It is, indeed, the peace on earth the angels promised so long ago.
This summer, may you know God’s peace. Every day, everywhere. Amen.