It occurs to me that the way to Peace, is to start with not-peace. Just like you can’t really have forgiveness without confession, you can’t enjoy the gift until you receive it and actually unwrap it (ever feel like you hate to disturb the pretty paper?) Perhaps it has something to do with the joy that comes only through suffering. You can’t have a baby without labour pains. Even after the baby is born, there is enough suffering to endure, as you yearn for every good thing for that child.
After a spiritual birth, you begin to feel God’s yearning for others. And then there’s the suffering that goes on in the world. For example, the millions of people who die every day, just from poverty. Comparing that with how we spend $20 here and there on Christmas decorations, and then if we have any money left at the end of the month donate to the poor, can and should disrupt one’s peace.
Years ago, a pastor we knew used to actually pray that the people sitting in his pews would experience unrest… until they were moved to get up off their arse and do something. Well, he didn’t actually say “arse”, or anything like that! But you get the idea.
Segue to a more recent pastor, and there are some notes I made from an excellent sermon of his (Brian) about Peace.