Peace isn't the absence of belonging
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
Who do you belong to? Go ahead, answer that one honestly. There are some of us who will declare boldly, with swift commitment and assured confidence, that we belong to Christ alone. I have to challenge that one a little this morning, though, because most of us live as though we we might not 'totally' belong to anyone other than ourselves. Yup, me included. There are just times when I think we all struggle with remembering there was supposed to be this ongoing exchange of our will for his throughout our lives. We don't just do it once and then it is a 'done deal'. It is a daily exchange of 'power and authority'. We yield to his power and authority moment by moment - remembering there is no greater freedom than is found in being submitted to his will and purpose.
But now you belong to Christ Jesus. At one time you were far away from God. Now you have been brought close to Him. Christ did this for you when He gave His blood on the cross. From now on you are not strangers and people who are not citizens. You are citizens together with those who belong to God. You belong in God’s family. (Ephesians 2:13, 19)
We belong to Christ - no longer far away and an outsider in his family - but that carries some responsibility we may not have considered before. What is that responsibility I refer to? Glad you asked! As a child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, we have a responsibility to each other. We live 'in the midst' of family. As such, we cannot any longer consider ourselves more important than any other in this family. Do you know what the opposite of being a citizen is? It is being an alien - one who finds themselves in a position of viewing God's plans and purposes as 'foreign' to their lives. An alien in this sense is one who has not undergone this 'exchange' of will and purpose - there is still this desire to live for self alone.
I wonder how many of us forget we are responsible for the 'peace' or 'lack of peace' we maintain in our society today. As Mother Teresa reminds us so well, we sometimes forget just how much we belong to each other. We get all involved in our little world and forget to see the bigger world around us. We are responsible for each other - let that one sink in a little bit this morning. We cannot ignore the one next to us, no matter how hard we try. We cannot turn blind eye or deaf ear to the cries of the needy, hurting, or 'less lovely' members of our community, my friends. We may try to - but God will bring us back to the place where we remember we are 'citizens together' in this community! Just sayin!