“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.” – John 14:27
It’d be so much easier if peace were delivered to my door in a brown package. I know how to receive that kind of gift. There is the initial flush of excitement at its arrival. The tearing of tape and digging through the bubble wrap. At last comes the joy of holding the long awaited gift. It’s a glorious experience, albeit a fleeting one.
Perhaps this is what Jesus means when he says that he does not give as the world gives.
Christ’s gift of peace is not momentary rush. It is not a novelty. It is a lasting gift that does not grow bland or wear out. A gift we receive not by unwrapping a box but by opening our heart.
Lutheran theologian Stanley Hauerwas describes peace as being so open to God and so enthralled by God that we lose our fear of others. He suggests that perhaps peacefulness is more about learning to receive than it is about doing.
Christ’s gift of peace didn’t get lost in the mail or taken from your front porch. Christ’s gift of peace is already here. He has given it to you by the power of the Holy Spirit. May we accept God’s gift of peace.