The English Martyrs
Today is Tuesday the 4 May, in the Fifth Week of Easter.
The University of Johannesburg choir sing Ukuthula; Peace in this world of sin the blood of Jesus brings. Redemption in this world of sin the blood of Jesus brings.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of John.
Jesus said to his disciples: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.”
This peace that Jesus speaks of… what is it? It clearly isn’t just a state of untroubled calm. It’s not some kind of floaty detachment, a carefree lack of concern about others, and about the tensions and struggles of today’s world. What is this peace like? How do you imagine it?
When we are gripped by fear or agitation, it can immobilise us. To those who want it, Jesus gives a peace which frees us from this grip, from these immobilising effects, and allows us to engage with life in its fullness and complexity. Is this a gift I want?
Accepting that these gifts come from God, listen again to today’s reading. Listen to what Jesus promises.
Speak to God in your own words, now. What situations in your life are crying out for that freedom from fear and distress, that peace that only Christ can give? Ask God how you might be a channel for that gift of peace.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.