Peace in the Turbulence of 2020
I’m not sure when I’ll ever travel by plane again. Which is weird for me to say when I used to spend so much of my time in airports and traveling from one city to another all over the world. I got used to it over time but there was something about flying that always had me uncomfortable. Just the thought of being that high up was unsettling. So, I was always grateful for a smooth flight. Smooth take off. Smooth landing. Nothing crazy in between. Which meant the things that really disturbed me on these trips was turbulence. I hate turbulence. I know it’s normal but it always made me grip my arm rests a little tighter and get my mind wandering, “is everything ok.” A turbulent flight never really felt very … peaceful.
2020 will be described in many ways when it’s written about in the history books. I think we all sense that right now as we live it out. We get the sense that we are living in the midst of history. And yet, due to the nature of the pandemic and societal unrest, I think one of the fair descriptions for this year will be turbulent. No smooth beginning and it at this point it’s hard to imagine a smooth ending with it being an election year. Turbulence. Consequently, I can’t help but think that for many of us, 2020 has not felt particularly peaceful. And yet, what the Scriptures teach us and what following Christ reminds us is that peace is not the absence of turbulent moments, but peace is in the midst of them. As we discussed yesterday, peace allows us to navigate through the difficult terrain of life. That’s exactly what the church is called to as we see this turbulent year continue to unfold.
We’ve covered a lot of ways to do this over the past few weeks. How we allow truth, righteousness and the gospel to anchor us in the peace that reconciles us to others and to God. But there is one thing I’d like to focus on that we haven’t covered on Sunday. One of the critical ways we can find peace in the midst of turbulent times is to not narrow our gaze on the present moment. Not worried about what might be, what will be or what could be, but embracing what is and giving it your all. Living in the present moment and finding peace … today. I love the challenge that Jesus gives us to not worry about tomorrow and to seek His Kingdom first. Such a powerful way to live.
And so that’s my invitation to each of you. What’s on your agenda for the day? What lies before you? Perhaps it promises to be low key and uneventful. Maybe it’s crammed with a hectic list of commitments and tasks. Whatever is before you today, pursue peace. As the book of Hebrews tells us to make every effort to live at peace with everyone. So, whoever you see today, be it your family, your friends or the strangers you may encounter, be a presence of peace in their lives. Cling to the fact that through Christ, you have been given peace with God. You have access to Your Father in heaven. You can bring all your requests and all your worries to Him. He hears you and the peace He offers transcends understanding as it guards your heart and your mind in Christ. Today is the perfect day, to pursue peace, even if it’s in the face of turbulence.
May we live accordingly and be a people of peace who continually exalt the Prince of Peace. - Jerimiah Smith, Pastor