“He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from Him, and peace to the Jews who were near. Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.”
Ephesians 2:17-18 NLT
The Good News, the Gospel of Peace, is not just a few words written on a piece of paper, to be read and then forgotten. It is not a Peace Treaty signed by two generals after a period of war and strife. It is not just a nice sentiment, bringing with it warm feelings of brotherhood and friendliness. No! the Good News of Peace is far more than that. For a start it is eternal. It’s message reverberates up and down the centuries of history. It is the supernatural “glue” that welds together all God’s people, powered by the Holy Spirit. The Good News of Peace binds together people everywhere, regardless of race, skin colour, language and location.
Peace between God’s people is not an option. There is no sectarianism allowed before God. Jesus was concerned by a lack of peace even in His own people, the Jews. In Matthew 5, in His Sermon on the Mount, He taught about the importance of having peaceful and righteous relationships. If we wish to enter into God’s presence we need to have right attitudes to our brothers and sisters in the faith. The Holy Spirit is displaced in an angry and unforgiving heart, removing the option of coming before the Father.
It is hard for a modern pilgrim to find a place of peace. A place where there is no strife but instead love and unity between them and others. What we say can easily be misinterpreted, leading to disagreements and a lack of peace. We have to season our relationships with grace, keep short accounts, resolve differences, and move on. Step by step in our life-pilgrimage. The writer to the Hebrews said, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone…” (Hebrews 12:14). Wise advice indeed.