April 8, 2020
4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil. 4: 4-8, Wednesday of Holy Week
One of the principles or techniques in centering prayer is finding a word or phrase that will help refocus the attention of the pray-er on receiving God’s presence. I have had many over the years- God seems to change them on me depending on my circumstances and the state of my heart and spirit.
Lately that word has been “peace.” The Hebrew word is shalom; in Greek it’s eireine. In both languages, the words signify more than the absence of conflict and injustice. Rather both point to God’s final consummation of the covenant promises to the Jews which, for Christians, are fulfilled in Christ. The peace of God is about restoration, wholeness and perfect union with God: God who made all that is; God who sent his only Son for us; God who will redeem and restore all of creation in the last days.
Today marks the beginning of Passover for our Jewish sisters and brothers. It is fitting, I think, that we remember that we are grafted into God’s promises to God’s elect and are made heirs to his final peace through Christ.
In this Wednesday of Holy week, that us pray for restoration and wholeness for all peoples in all nations.
O God, it is your will to hold both heaven and earth in a single peace. Let the design of your great love shine on the waste of our wraths and sorrows, and give peace to your church, peace among nations, peace in our homes, and peace in our hearts; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.