2 Thessalonians 1:1–12
But it is for you, O Lord, that I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer. Psalm 38:15
After reading through all of today’s scriptures, I must say how comparable in nature our cries for peace in our time are to the cries of the Hebrew people of long ago. I chose Psalm 38:15 because of the heartfelt love and quiet trust that the psalmist so eloquently expressed. The psalmist's telling of his woes brought to mind an image of someone standing in pouring rain yet feeling sufficiently sheltered to express his yearnings to God. Such a person waits for God's peace just as the psalmist yearned and waited to be filled with God's peace.
As I contemplated further, I thought of such grace-filled moments that can be so easily overlooked, whether one is alone or surrounded by a crowd. I have experienced a homeless person passing on her greeting to me, saying 'Peace, Sister'. Such a gesture makes me wonder whether the Lord is more with her than with me.
I believe the Lord shows us many ways to build a more solid foundation of peace within ourselves. Peace can be shared with love, not only within our own family but with everyone we meet. I wish a couple of seconds of silence could be inserted into our worship services prior to us physically passing 'the Peace'. It may make us more aware of the meaning of God's Peace when our hands touch each other, as we more gracefully acknowledge one another. There is usually great anxiety within us while waiting on our petitions for God’s Peace. With the psalmist, we cry out 'when Lord, when'? Meanwhile, God’s Peace is gently tapping on the walls of our chests, competing with the angry roaring of our woes. With this longing for God's peace in every aspect of our own lives and in the lives of those around us, we can physically sense a deepening of His loving Presence.
During this Advent season, may His breath, which we see in the movement of falling leaves, strengthen our hearts as we wait to give thanks for His precious gift. May we become more sensitive to the feel of our brother's/sister's hand in passing the peace as we worship our God together.
– Beulah Walcott