The etched-glass image above is from a roadside chapel in Nebraska that my wife and I paused at a few years ago. I find myself drawn to the stillness. Sun, rain, snow, wild prairie winds, still their faces remain peaceful. The lines of every part of the etching remain softly rounded. It reminds me of the wise words one of Grace’s members posted on Facebook this past week. “There are two types of tired! One that requires rest. One that requires peace.” Nearing election with virtually every form of media replete with argumentative statements, watching Covid-19 numbers surge, praying for essential-worker friends and family, noticing daylight grows shorter and nights grow colder, many may be experiencing both types of tired. Many may long for both rest and peace. However, as you may have discovered, it is possible to have a good night’s sleep or a quiet day and still feel tired. That is the tired that aches for peace.
Look at the child-Jesus in the etched glass above. Although the artist missed the first century, middle-eastern facial features, the artist captured a peaceful awareness in the expression of the child-Jesus. This Sunday during Livestream worship we’ll pause to hear Jesus’ speaking to the crowd on a day when he seemed keenly aware of the “tired that needs peace.”
Blessed are those who are weary, because the kingdom of God is theirs.
Blessed are those who grieve, because they will be gladdened.
Blessed are the humble, because they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who show mercy, because they will receive mercy.
(See Matthew 5:1-12 for the entirety of the blessings).
What I am hearing in Jesus’ words today is “blessed, happy, rested are those who face difficulties now, because God’s last word will bring them peace.” What I am hearing today is an invitation from an understanding Christ to lean into peace and the things that bring us a sense of peace. For me it might be a cup of hot coffee, two creamers, one sweet and low, and a Johnny Cash version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” from his last album. What would whisper a few moments of peace into your life today. Make time for it–even if it’s just five minutes. Take another couple of minutes to read Matthew 5:1-12. What blessing speaks to you most today? What blessing do you dearly wish for a friend who is struggling? Wrap up your time with a prayer–something like, “Loving Jesus, grant me the peaceful blessing of remembering God will have the last word, and the last word will bless those who hurt. Amen.”
Be Blessed and Be Blessing,