Kelli Randolph is in the 2022-23 Cohort for Certification in Spiritual Direction at Selah. She has a B.S. degree in Psychology from Western Kentucky University. Kelli has a heart for those serving in the clergy, and for women in the trenches and transitions of life. She loves to read, write, create, and travel with her husband of 32 years, Scott. Kelli has a heart for those serving in the clergy, and for women in the trenches and transitions of life. She loves to read, write, create, and travel with her husband of 32 years, Scott.
We are in the season of Advent and this Sunday, the theme is peace.
“Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” (Luke 2:14)
Peace on Earth. Especially lately, that seems a lofty ideal. But to those who live to please God, peace is available. Psalm 34:14 says, “Search for peace, and work to maintain it.” First, we must seek it. Peace should be our priority, our goal, within and with others. It’s one thing to be at peace with God, and it’s quite another to be at peace with broken people in a broken world. Thus, part two of that passage, “and work to maintain it.” Peace is not the absence of conflict. It is something to be sought and maintained. Sometimes the effort is one-sided, sometimes the “work” is holding your tongue. Meditate on active ways you can work to maintain peace with those around you.
When Jesus’ time on earth was coming to an end and his disciples didn’t understand his warnings fully, he comforted them by saying, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on Earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) The previously mentioned “all this” that Jesus had told his followers so that they could have peace, included the promise that although they would see grief, joy was on the horizon; that they would be able to talk directly to the Father; that the Father loves them dearly; and finally, that Jesus has overcome the world. Jesus says that peace is in Him, not in whatever is going on around us, even if everything is going well. True peace is only found in Christ, and in the promises He gave to his followers that day, which are still true for us. Jesus also makes it clear that peace is not the absence of trials and sorrows. It is a promise that joy is on the horizon because He has overcome the world, and with it, all of our trials and sorrows. In our times of sorrow, we can rest in His peace and His sovereignty. Consider the situations in your life that are out of your control, and leave them in His capable hands.
Peace is a river rushing over rocks and limbs and dirt. The peace of God smooths the rocks and softens the soil of our lives. When a new rock is thrown in, it doesn’t disturb the river, but instead it becomes part of the river. After some time has passed, it is smooth and settled into the beauty of the river as a whole. Meditate on the sound of the rushing river and the beauty of the rocks and limbs and soil of your life. Rest in the peace of God that is creating something beautiful from your walk on this Earth.
The Hebrew word “Shalom,” is commonly translated as “peace”. But its meaning goes beyond peace; it is more accurately translated as well-being, harmony, wholeness. To say Shalom is to say, may the whole of your life be at peace. To some, that may not sound possible. But we are redeemed, we are made whole, and all the broken pieces of our life are brought to reconciliation through Jesus. Sit with this word Shalom, rest in the blessing it brings, and thank the Father that Jesus came to live among us and bring shalom to the world.