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Spreading peace during the new year

During the Advent season, we did things in our worship services like read litanies that defined hope, peace, joy and love. All four have significance to our walk of faith, but in 2014 I was struck by the word "peace." Many of our family members and friends lack the presence and influence of peace in their lives. Many people yearn for peace emotionally. So we ask, where is peace found in such times?

The word "peace" appears over 200 times in Scripture, revealing God's covenant relationship and presence in both the Old and New Testament. In Romans 15:13 the Apostle Paul writes, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Joy and peace come from our trust in God, not from our worldly possessions or in ourselves. Paul also says in Philippians 4:7, "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

That being said, I reflect on those that lack joy and peace this year. They need our prayers of support and encouragement. These expressions of care provide strength in times of despair or fear. The text states, "so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Paul's words in Romans, mark us as people of hope because of the Holy Spirit that lives in us. So as we gathered and interacted with friends and family during the holiday season, who did you know that needs strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow? Would a visit, a phone call, a note, a text or an email bring them hope, so that the joy and peace of Christ would encourage them?