In the book of James, it is written, “And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” When I read this, especially after talking last week about how our tongues continually bring us grief, I was overwhelmed with the thought, “Why do we do this to one another? Why do we continually avoid peace when it is there for the taking in Jesus’ name and instead go out of our way at times to bring discontent to ourselves, our families, friends, and to others? Why, in an environment where Jesus’ has guaranteed peace for those who seek it in His name, we are intent on making trouble instead?”
At the end of the service in our church, we have the Benediction, the last part of the service. It is then we ask, by the grace of God, to grant us peace … AMEN - may it be so. Do we really mean that? Are we really willing to go out of our way to bring peace to a situation of turmoil, to a family in trouble, to a church in conflict, to a heart that is troubled, to a friend we have hurt, to a spouse we have degraded, to a child we have struck in anger, to a co-worker we have slandered, to a church leader we belittled, to a pastor we have lied to about others? How about our own selves, unto whom we have violated our very being with sin that remains unforgiven because we are too proud to accept the guilt of it? Seems one can only conclude that peace is not achievable, right?
James 3:18 states, “And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” The harvest that James is speaking about here, a harvest of peace, will never happen unless we are all willing to make peace. Have you ever wondered why there is so much hate and discontent in the family, community, county, state, country, continent, and in the world?
It is because Satan has convinced us that it feels a whole lot better to lift ourselves up in the glory of conflict, rather than humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord and give glory to God through the peace offered by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
Most of what I have said thus far is law. That is the tough stuff! But there is also Gospel here because in spite of the law, the peace which surpasses all human understanding is staring us in the face at the base of the cross. That’s where we will find peace because it is there where the blood of eternal peace is found.
In our state, we are going through a time where only the power of the peace of God is going to help us recover from the disastrous fires of the last many years. We can no longer point fingers at God for this happening. This is the work of Satan, and we need to let God lead us in the recovery, trusting in His grace to bring us peace at a time of incredible challenge. We will talk more about this on Sunday, Sept. 19th as we welcome our guest singer/songwriter/musician, Brian Warrensford, who will lead us in music ministry this week.
Please join us every Sunday at New Hope Lutheran Church, 22200 Foresthill Rd., Foresthill, CA. 95632, phone 530-367-3650, All are welcome, so come as you are. Hawaiian shirt summer continues, so if you have one, be sure to wear it!