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. (John 14:27-29)
I find that I need to read this passage of scripture each and every day as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Of all the gifts given by God, of all the teachings offered by Jesus, of all the fruits of the Holy Spirit, peace is the most needed and appreciated. Originally, Jesus made this offer to a community in crisis, a Christian fellowship concerned about survival. I cannot help but reflect on the obvious parallel. In the face of physical separation from the person of Jesus, this reassurance was offered to calm, comfort, and strengthen those left behind. The earlier portion of John 14 contains Jesus’ promise to send the Holy Spirit. While Jesus himself would be gone, the power and presence of God would remain through the Holy Spirit.
I take time every day to center and focus on God’s Holy Spirit, present in my heart and mind. Following hours of television, internet, radio, and social media messages of doom and gloom, I need to tune out the worldly messages and tune into the spiritual messages. Miraculously, focusing on this passage of scripture calms my heart and soul, settles my mind and spirit, and for a brief time each day, I know peace. It is my hope and prayer for all that we might know this peace together, for it is this sense of peace and the blessed assurance of God’s continued guidance that I believe will carry us through.
Loving and caring God hear our prayer. Break through the crusts of anxiety, worry, fear and despair to comfort us and bless us with your peace – a peace that surpasses our human understanding. We ask this humbly in Jesus’ name. Amen.