Yesterday we went to an Elf on the Shelf event that began with writing a letter to Santa. It seemed so silly, but as I sat there pondering what to write, I changed the receiver to my Lord & asked myself what I would ask of Him. What I wrote was this:
All I want for Christmas this year is healing & reconciliation for my family.
Even as I type that👆🏽, it feels silly on the surface, but the deep of it is that my God knows the desires of my heart & heard my prayer as I prayed with my pen.
This morning, Hebrews 12:14 starts with an imperative: “Work at living in peace with everyone.” Another version says, “Pursue peace.”
Fireworks exploded in my brain as I read those 2 simple words, but what blew my socks off was this: The root for peace here means, “to join together all of the essential parts; God’s GIFT of wholeness!”🎄
So peace is God’s gift that we are called to pursue! Peace is far more than a feeling or concept. It’s the very Personhood of Jesus!
Paul puts parameters around the pursuit by telling us to:
-Look after each other so that none fails to receive the grace of God
-Watch out that the poisonous root of bitterness doesn’t grow & corrupts us
-See that no one trades their birthright like Esau did
Pursuing peace with others is hard especially when they’ve hurt your heart, & yet we wouldn’t be commanded to do so if it wasn’t possible.
Paul begins to close with this:
“You’ve come to God himself who is the judge over all things. Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking.”
We are not called to act as judge over anyone-that’s Jesus’s job.
We ARE called to:
Remember God’s grace we’ve received so that our brothers do too
Guard ourselves from bitterness so it doesn’t corrupt our relationship with others
Be our brother’s keeper so they don’t trade their birthright for a simple bowl of soup
Pursuing Peace isn’t easy when people are involved, but He IS the One who makes it possible.
Father, give us eyes to see what You see. When hurt from others sears our hearts, heal it with Your love. Help us remember all that you’ve done & walk in that same grace-saturated love so that your gift of Peace may prevail!