Rev.. Merv Lanctot
St. Andrews on the Red St. Matthews
The Gospel reading for The 3rd Sunday after Easter is found in Luke chapter 24. It is the wonderful story of two travellers on the road to Emmaus. They encounter the risen Christ, who greets them with “Peace be with you”. Once again we hear this greeting of peace being extended to His followers. These followers were walking home in grief after loosing their leader and Jesus extends to them Peace! It is a theme I have been reflecting on these past few weeks in my Musings!
There are occasions when I find it challenging to be at peace during these days of isolation and social distancing. I think many of us are facing this challenge as well.
I was doing pretty well until last Sunday when Susan slipped and fell on some ice in our back yard. A decision had to be made: how does one seek medical attention during a Covid 19 pandemic? Do you or don’t you go to the emergency room at the hospital? How do you see the family Doctor when he is not seeing patients at his office? It took a few days to resolve the dilemma. Thankfully nothing was broken, Sue is just uncomfortable with a badly bruised hamstring.
At times this week I have felt anxious, sometimes a little cranky as I suffer through cabin fever. Though, I think all of us are feeling this way from time to time. This pandemic is beginning to take its toll.
We needed to leave the House!
Friday night we picked up some chicken at the drive through and headed over to Assiniboine Park. We practiced social distancing, disinfected everything, but I am sure our children will be upset with us for not staying at home. They would be right!
It was interesting, sitting in our car, we overheard those who passed each other on the pathway. Those walking; those on bikes. Obviously, the big question was who had the right to be on the pathway? It was a huge bone of contention, they were loud, and no grace was extended by either parties! I thought for sure a brawl was going to take place. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that everyone is getting a little cranky.
And then to watch the tragic news out of Nova Scotia with 22 people killed. What we have been going through with isolation and social distancing is nothing compared to the loss and heartbreak of the family and friends of those killed. A whole nation grieves over the senseless loss. Lord, If there was a time for Your Peace for your people, I think it would be now!
I was reminded of a picture that I saw years ago. It is a scene from a light house off the coast of France. If you look close you see the light house keeper. He is right outside the door with his back to his light house and the huge waves hitting from every side. Yet, he stands there with his hands in his pockets, perfectly calm, as if he has no fear whatsoever.
That’s the peace Jesus gives us! It is a peace that exists even as the storms and waves of life break against us.
Now peace is also a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Like fruit, it grows. It grows more and more as we trust in God. Each time we trust, each time we stand on Gods promises we attain a little more peace. My Peace I give to you, Jesus said.
Peace” is at the heart of the Gospel of Christ. The first words of Jesus upon His Resurrection are, “Peace be with You!” So, when Jesus commissioned His Apostles to “Go out to the whole world to proclaim the Good News of Salvation,” intrinsic to this message is the divine “Peace” that the Good News brings to all who believe.
Are you seeking Peace during this time of pandemic? Listen to what the scriptures say about Peace. May Jesus open our minds and hearts to the promises of his word!
Psalm 29:11: The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.
Psalm 85:8: I will listen to what God the LORD will say; he promises peace to his people, his saints– but let them not return to folly.
Isaiah 9:6: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 26:3: You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
Isaiah 26:12: LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.
Isaiah 54:10: Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
Isaiah 55:12: You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
Matthew 11:28-30: ”Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 14:27: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
1 Corinthians 14:33: For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints,
2 Thessalonians 3:16: Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
Romans 15:13: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Philippians 4:6-7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
This morning as I read over the promises of scripture concerning peace, I do have a peace about things. Maybe these scriptures are ones that I need to read over and over each day. To reflect upon! To meditate upon! And to digest! Funny isn’t it? Once we begin to place our trust back firmly in God’s hands, we begin to receive a peace that is beyond all understanding!
Rev Merv Lanctot
Faith Grows in the Soil of Hope!