Spotlight 10/2019: Peace, an immeasurable wealth

Living together peacefully is how man and society can bring about a change for the better. District Apostle Rainer Storck (Western Germany) urges us to search for and grasp divine peace and apply it in a targeted fashion.

Peace among people and nations is a precious commodity, one that is becoming rather rare in our time, unfortunately. It has been statistically established that nations or societies who have enjoyed a stable and peaceful coexistence for many years, experience a particularly positive development. This is reflected in education, prosperity, and life expectancy. Crises, conflicts, or armed conflicts can destroy these things that have been acquired in peaceful times within a very short time.

The same applies to the development of a human being. A person who lives in permanent discord, whether internally or externally, can hardly develop in a positive manner. A child, however, who can grow up in a peaceful and stable environment has the opportunity to tap into all the gifts and talents it possesses and develop and use them for its own well-being and for the well-being of others. Seen from this perspective, one should attach a great deal of importance to Jesus’ statement: “Peace I leave with you” (John 14: 27).

In the same breath, however, the Lord said, “My peace I give to you.” This is a peace that far surpasses anything that we as human beings are capable of imagining, let alone creating. Just think of the situation on the lake, when the disciples were terrified: “And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We are perishing!’ But He said to them, ‘Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?’ Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm” (Matthew 8: 24–26). There was a similar situation when, after Jesus’ crucifixion, the disciples were together, cooped up in a room, frightened, desperate, sad, and discouraged, not knowing where things would go from there. All of sudden Jesus came and stood in their midst and spoke four words to them: “Peace be with you!” The gospel of John reports that the disciples were glad when they saw Jesus and then took heart and went their way (John 20: 19–20).

We can experience and receive this peace from the Risen Christ today. This is the case especially when the forgiveness of sins is pronounced in each divine service and we receive the words in faith: “The peace of the Risen One be with you!” And in the sacrament of Holy Communion we have fellowship with the Prince of Peace. May the words of Jesus, “Peace be with you!” always reveal a special richness in Christ to us.

Photo: Frank Schuldt

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Rainer Storck