Perhaps there is so little peace in our world because those of us who claim to have given our hearts to God know so little peace within. I know that is easier said than done, but Jesus promised to send the Spirit to empower us so that Christians could do hard.
I was in Oklahoma City the day a white, American, Christian terrorist blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people. You probably don’t know the name Bud Welch, but one of those killed was Bud’s 23-year-old daughter, Julie. After working through his pain and grief, Bud gave up his hatred and started The Forgiveness Project. He even worked to keep Timothy McVeigh from being executed, because Bud didn’t believe that one more death was God’s will.
When asked how he was able to forgive, Bud wrote:
Inside each of us are two wells. The one is a well of grace which is fed by the Spirit of God. The closer we live to God, the deeper our spiritual life, the greater the reserve of grace we have to draw upon. The other well is filled with hatred, resentment, bitterness and rage. That well is fed by our fear, insecurity, and the wounds of our past that we continue to hold on to. When a crisis or conflict comes we can draw from either well.
The art of walking in the way of peace comes from learning to consistently draw from the well of grace. That is why we gather together in worship each week to practice peace in the presence of Jesus. On holy ground, we hope to find more of the peace that we are sent forth to make.
Peacemaking is an art, and YOU, my sisters and brothers, are the artists.
Rev. Michael Piazza