What is this Peace that we long for? Is it the absence of war and conflict? Is it much more than that? Is Peace a noun or a verb? As we listen to the news, Peace, that is the absence of war, seems very far away. Yet in this passage we are assured that the Peace of God is a gift we are given.
How can we find it? I think one of the ways is to consider Peace as a verb. Peace will happen if we work at it. Maybe we cannot influence the big, world shaking events, but we can create peace in the way we live with our neighbours. Our actions can be peaceful.
This does not mean the absence of anger, or even a quiet stillness. It does mean active love. It does mean confronting wrong ideas and treating our neighbours with respect and dignity. It does mean actively working against injustice. It does mean speaking up when confronted with those times when we hear or see people being treated in disrespectful ways. It does mean confronting our own actions and bringing them to God and asking for forgiveness, not just from God but from those we may have hurt. So as the hymn says. “Let there be Peace on earth and let it begin with me”.
– Jean Gandon