Fruit of the Spirit – Peace (Sermon Series)

Fruit of the Spirit - Peace

Standing in the house of Burgess in Williamsburg, on March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry proclaimed:

Peace, Peace- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Now let me contrast that with God’s directive to Moses to bless the Israelites:

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-25)

Some of you may recognize that from your Methodist Youth days. How many times, in how many places, have youth from Methodist and United Methodist Churches stood in a circle, arms crossed, right over left, and said the words of God to Moses, then adding at the end: “Shalom!”?

And it is in this last word “Shalom” that we hear the difference between the words of Patrick Henry, and the word of God spoken to Moses. In Biblical terms the opposite of “Peace”, is not violence or war. It is anxiety. It is the anxiety of humanity that leads to war, and violence. “Shalom” means in the Hebrew, “To live in a state of wellbeing.” Eve and Adam lived in the garden in a state of perpetual “Shalom.” Their anxieties gave way to sin.

The fruit of living with God is to be in a state of wellbeing. It is what is called “peace.” We may live without conflict, and not still not be at peace. Peace requires faithful living with who God is, and who we are in God.

The church is, as it always has, moving through difficult issues, but so are we as families, and as individuals. You and I, as people of faith, are called to embrace the peace of God. You and I are invited to rest in God’s grace and trust in God’s promises. I invite you to continue to join us in the coming weeks as we find the peace of God that comes from resting in God’s grace.

Grace and PEACE…