“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Do we have peace or do we have trouble?
I watch the news and it is filled with heartbreaking stories. If we jump on social media we find that it is equally disheartening and discouraging.
Famine, wars, murders, suicides, school shootings, the list goes on of how almost every day we see the brokenness of our world played out.
We live in troubled times-of course the same could be said for my parents as well as for my grandparents.
My dad and mom will often reminisce about how great things were when they were younger. Indeed, in many ways it was. A time before cell phones, internet, personal computers, and all the privacy invasive things that occupy our time now. Maybe you sometimes reflect on many of the same things and long for a simpler time.
However, we also know that it wasn’t perfect. My dad and mom lived with a very real fear that an atomic bomb could be dropped on them at any moment. At school they would practice drills of getting under their desks. It was the cold war and the threat was ever present. Trouble was always just around the corner. Maybe you remember doing the same while in school and that fear that gripped the nation.
Many young men were drafted into the Vietnam War only to come home to protests and to be treated very poorly. My great uncle took his life as a result of having been on several deployments to Vietnam and the way he was treated when he returned.
My grandfather watched almost all of his uncles die during WWI and then again during WWII lost all but one of his brothers. He served in the Army and on the beaches of Normandy. He met my Grandmother in England while waiting for the invasion to start.
Trouble was, and is, always brewing somewhere, somehow here in this world.
Our scripture reading reminds us that while that may be the case, that in and through this world we will have trouble, in Christ we find peace.
Christ is our rock and is the great comforter-our Lord and Savior.
While this world constantly tries to manipulate us and distract us, Christ reminds us that in and through him we have perfect peace. Christ’s teachings are the roadmap to our peace. The difficulty is actually how difficult they often are to live out in our world. On the surface Christ teachings are both simple and powerful but also quite difficult in the world we live in. For example, I know many people who make decent livings with their jobs but live well beyond their means. You can call it keeping up with the Joneses. We covet what others have and our actions indicate that we covet and wish we were them. I feel like there is something in the bible teaching us and reminding us about not doing that?? The world tells us that we need this and that, while Christ reminds us the contrary.
I pray you are able to find peace in Christ this Lenten season. I pray that you are making time for prayer and time to spend in scripture so that God may speak to you in beautiful ways. If we are not spending enough time in prayer and scripture, meditation and fasting; what then are we truly listening to?
May it be so,
Rev. Lou Ward
Summer Bible Studies:
Sunday - 4:00 PM
Monday - 1:00 PM
La Junta United Methodist Church
601 San Juan Ave
La Junta, CO 81050
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