Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Passing the Peace

I've been on the receiving end of many angry outbursts as a pastor.

Some of them have been deserved.

Some of them have been because I was an unknown irritant and the rage and frustration finally erupted.

Some of them have been because the person was grieving and I represented the only physical substitute for God that they can yell at.

We all know what it is like for someone to direct angry words our way.  It is never something we would pursue unless we have some kind of weird disorder!

Do arguments over sports represent
a kind of scapegoat for us to release
our pent up anxiety?
Physiologically, our bodies react when this occurs.  We often go into the "fight or flight" response which includes an increase in heart and breathing rates.  Our adrenaline levels also rise. Some become a little sick to their stomach.

If this happens too often for us, the stress of the body moving back and forth into this state may lower our immunity and we can become fatigued or sick more easily.

Lots of people experience conflict at work or at home or at school.  For some it is their extended family members.  For others, it is their in-laws. Some have neighbors that are antagonists.

If you live with a sense that you have an ongoing enemy, you realize that you are in need of the Prince of Peace.  This Sunday, we'll examine Isaiah 11:1-9.  Christians later adopted this Hebrew text as a scripture that speaks to us of Jesus Christ.  What were the people of Isaiah's time going through that they needed to hear this word to them?

There has been conflict since there have been people.  God grants us rest from this. God has always done this.  God continues to do this for us today.

Even in the midst of shootings and warfare and violence.

A blessed peace is what we need.

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, we have one more Sunday to wait. But while we're waiting, may the peace of Christ which passes all our understanding, be ours to share.

In Christ,


Picture by Googie man on CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

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