Weekly Blog - Angela Hughes: Peace be with you.
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Posted on: 5th October 2021

I discovered an old old story a few weeks ago – too long to retell here, but it pointed to a mother bird, sitting on her eggs, in the crack of a rock towering above the chaotic waters below as the storm raged around her. And I reflected that often we discover peace in the most unlikely places.

And I wonder where you found that peace during these past months?

Shalom is a Hebrew word and eirene a Greek word, both of which we generally translate as peace. Our Hebrew and our Greek ancestors understood shalom and eirene as both a noun but also, and perhaps more importantly, as a verb – to restore, to repair, to make whole.

Our ancestors understood that life is complex. Life is a multitude of complexities, relationships, and situations. When something is out of alignment or missing, our peace breaks down. As we look out across our world – our nation – our communities - our personal lives it isn’t hard to recognise the need for peace-makers.

Of course it has been ever thus – and as we look back over history – we can recognise the significance to the Gospel writers who heralded the birth of Jesus as PEACE. Peace foretold by the prophets and longed for by the people.

Remember the words of the angels? Remember the words of Jesus himself – the risen Christ – who greeted his disciples, locked and fearful in an upper-room, with the words, ‘Peace be with you!’

The followers of Jesus saw him as the restorer of wholeness, who would bring PEACE not only among the nations, tribes, and families, but also PEACE with the God in whom we live and move and have our being, the God who dwells in, with, through, and beyond us all.

And yet … we all know that peace is hard to find in our world and, that if we are to play our part as Christian disciples in today’s world, we too need to find that place of peace which holds us when bad times come. We need it as individuals but also as people together.

Even as the baby chicks felt safe to fly from the safety of their nest and Mother’s love – so too we need that safe place because in our own state of incompleteness, in the absence of shalom / eirene, it is easy to feel inadequate and even afraid to step outside our comfort zones..

The PEACE of JESUS may be beyond our understanding, but we believe it is the kind of peace which calms all fear. 

As we move on from Summer 2021 – even as we grieve our loss – let us embrace the unknown future with confidence in the LOVE of the God who holds each one of us.

Rev Angela Hughes

Stainbeck United Reformed Church

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