An Advent Reflection
The theme of the first week of Advent in our parish is “The Promise of Peace” from last Sunday’s readings. Today’s advent verse is from the letter to the Colossians.
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. —Colossians 3:15
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,” sounds so much nicer than the real meaning of that line which is something more like: “Let the reconciliation God has worked in Christ govern your emotion infused choices.” What our author is talking about is not a calm inner state, but a conviction and action that manifests itself in our life together.
I need to be reminded about that calm inner state, that sense of being in harmony with myself and the world around me. As Paul say in Romans “If God is for us, who can be against us?” The Lord of heaven and earth has declared us his own, has united us with Christ, has granted us a share in the world where the lion lies down with the lamb and swords are beaten into plowshares. Already the healing of the world is begun. Already the grave is opened. Already the Spirit has come to govern. If all this is mine why should I fear anything? “[Nothing] will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” There is a calm that comes when I am mindful of all this.
But there is something more, here, than my inner calm: it is the life we live together as witnesses and beachhead of the coming age. Where there is a passionate vision of a world where all are kind, there is a drive to be kind now. Where there is a passionate vision of a world of generosity, there will be generosity now. Where there is a passionate vision of a world where all people dwell in peace, there will be peace now. It’s not just that I will want peace to rule, it will rule. It will govern my choices. And it will be joy and delight and commitment and decision. It won’t be compelled by threats of punishment or dragged from me by browbeating; it will flower from the seed that has been planted.
So let the peace of Christ rule. Let it happen. Let it be our life together. Let it be our joy and our inner calm.