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A Foolproof Cure

Peace be with you
Acts 3:13-15,17-19; Psalms 4:2,4,7-9; I John 2:1-5; Luke 24:35-48

Sermon Week Third Sunday of Easter Cycle B

Scripture Summary Luke 24:36

You probably know that the Old Testament word for "peace" is the beautiful Hebrew word, "shalom.” In the Bible, the word means so much in terms of human fulfillment that there is nothing better you could wish for another person. If you know anyone named "Irene," then you already know the New Testament (Greek) word for "peace.” It is spelled the same as Irene in English, although it is pronounced differently. Nevertheless, it carries into the New Testament all the fullness of the Old Testament meaning and more.

The word peace in the Bible -- Shalom or Irene — whether the Hebrew or the Greek — carries not only our English connotation (the absence of warfare, the absence of discord and confusion) but also a very positive meaning. In the Biblical sense, peace means wholeness or fullness or completeness or rightness -- not just the absence of discord, but the presence of harmony.

As the Apostle Paul offers to us, ”May the God of hope bring you such joy and peace in your faith, so that the power of the Holy Spirit will remove all bounds to hope" (Rom. 15:13). Surely Paul’s greeting, as beautiful as it sounds, if misunderstood, can lead us on a path of indifference.

You see, there is a kind of peace that can be achieved by isolating ourselves from conflict, by deceiving ourselves about world conditions and about our own condition. Such a peace is an achievement; the peace of Christ is a gift. Such a peace is fragile and precarious; the peace of Christ is eternally strong and triumphant. Such a peace is the peace of a fragmented person who has separated himself from the unpleasant; the peace of Christ is the peace of a whole person, a person who has been reconciled to God, to the world, and to himself. The Christian seeks not the kingdom of his own security. The Christian seeks not the kingdom of his own solutions. The Christian seeks only the Kingdom of God. As Christians, our quiet confidence is not rooted in our own rightness, but in God's faithfulness. The [...]

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