The reading for today is from John 14:27.
“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.”
Often when I read this verse (John is my favorite of the Gospels), I focus on the beginning or the end of this verse. Peace... yep, I want peace and am glad to hear Jesus giving it to us. Don't be afraid? Yep, I need to hear that one frequently. But today I was struck by the middle part: I do not give to you as the world gives.
When I think of how the world gives, it is almost exclusively a tit for tat situation. You give me that so I give you this thing. And even with that, I would say the exchanges may not be often as fair as they should. Each side is trying to get something over on the other or to come out the 'best' from the deal.
But not Jesus. For Him, it’s a purely giving situation. He gave His life. He gives His love. He gives His peace. He gives His wisdom. He gives. And for all He gives there is nothing required. No have to do. He fully does it all for us. Now, out of receiving such gracious gifts we should and often are moved to pass along to others God's love and peace. We may follow in Jesus' ways and seek to live in the world as He did. But Jesus does not require or expect it of us. He just does it out of love for all of God's children.
God, Thank You for Your unending love and graciousness. Amen
Chad Ryberg firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayer Concern: For peace amongst Your children.