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Deep peace in the beginning

by davesandel on April 24th, 2021

Saturday, April 24, 2021                    (today’s lectionary)

Deep peace in the beginning

The Church throughout all Judea, Galilee and Samaria was at peace.

When I read those words, “at peace,” something deep inside me goes all still. I imagine that before the rigidness of rigor mortis, every muscle of my finally finished body will utterly and completely relax. Mostly that sounds like a good thing.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.

I don’t expect human culture will experience this peace, other than in fits and starts, other than in isolated locations here and there. The Fall turned us into control freaks, and trusting God no longer comes naturally. We have always struggled frantically to get things right, when at another level of reality, everything is already “right.”

Peter said, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed.”

And later in Lydda, Peter knelt down and prayed, and said to his dead friend, “Tabitha, rise up.” She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up.

Of course this doesn’t happen every day, but these “miracles” seem more real than the rest of life around me. The Apostles’ Creed says Jesus “descended into hell, then ascended into heaven.” When I sometimes somehow accompany Jesus on this elevator journey, then I know more deeply, I know I am “at peace.”

The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.

Even then, as Jesus talked of eating his body and drinking his blood, most of us turned away. How can this be? It doesn’t fit our definitions. Reality is not like this. Does God want to change everything? Basically, I am content with what I have already. What I don’t see can’t hurt me (not true). Here, come with me and let us bury our heads in the sand.

Jesus asked, “Do you also want to leave?” Peter answered, “Master, where would we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe.”

God does want to change everything, and at the same time, nothing. To get back to our original blessing takes some work on God’s part, and whether I accept it or not, whether I contribute to it or not, God is determined to get us back there. Jesus knows that, and it’s all that matters to him.

(Acts 9, Psalm 116, John 6)

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