St Alban’s Episcopal Church
Friday, May 20, 2022
Sunday’s Gospel John 14:23-29
Jesus said to Judas (not Iscariot), “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but it is from the Father who sent me. I have said these things to you while I am still with you.
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you. ‘If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.
Peace – versus Peace
I give you peace – but not the sort of peace you already know about. I am giving you peace, but not peace that the world gives. I do not give you the peace of the Empire – the Pax Romana, (which had made the world both more connected and safer for travel and for living.) I do not give you peace and security by enforcing control and obedience, as Rome gives you. The peace I give you won’t erode or disintegrate if the world you know falls apart at the seams.
So what kind of peace is this? And how does this work? “Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” Is there anything in the rest of this text that might help make sense of it?
Another bit of news
Yesterday afternoon, Debra Beal was on her way home from Springfield and Bolivar when she not one of those low culverts and her car went off the road down into the grass, and rolled four times. She never lost consciousness. She was able to call Thomas and 911 and even to take pictures of the car. And this is why wearing seat belts is so absolutely essential. She broke her sternum and won’t be driving or doing much else for the 6-8 weeks it takes to heal, and it hurts her to breathe deeply – but she did not lose her life. Without that piece of equipment, she might well have died. Thanks be to God.