Peace Like a River
In the story we heard from church last week, the Pentecost Story from Acts 2, there’s this part, after all the wild wind and fire stuff happens, where the narrator (Luke) says Peter, the rock, stands up and speaks with “bold urgency.”
What comes next is both a little comedic and also grave. He wants those there witnessing this event to have a deep understanding that the Spirit of God is upon us human beings. He wants us to have a sense that the work of God’s love in the world is now ours in partnership with the Spirit, come down in wind and fire. There’s some drama amidst the humor of a number of witnesses who think the disciples were drunk.
It’s this bold urgency that sticks out to me. From Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday to Pentecost, the planet has been plagued by violence—domestic and foreign. We are in desperate need of peace. Not a tepid peace—one that’s fainting and passive. We need peace to come among us with bold urgency. I was thinking we need “peace like a river.”
Each of us who lives here knows of the power of The Snake. While it does, indeed, provide us moments of calm and serenity, we also know of its power. It’s a force to be respected. We find we have little success when we fight against it, but when we cooperate with the beautiful river that bifurcates this valley, it provides us with enormous delight, power, refreshment—even hope.
Yup. We need PEACE LIKE A RIVER, y’all. Let’s ask God for it. Let’s ask with bold urgency. Let’s find ways to cooperate with the Spirit to bring about this peace. Here’s a simple prayer I will be praying over the summertime. I hope you will join me in this practice:
God of Love,
I ask you to bring peace to my life, peace to my family,
Peace to our church, peace to our community,
Peace to our nation, peace to our world.
Make me a peacemaker and a love-spreader
In all that I do. Amen.
And, if you’re around on Sunday or any time during the week, stop by and pick up a bar of Dove Soap with that prayer on the back (get it, Dove?, Peace!) Each time you wash your hands or your face, whisper the prayer. We’re better together.