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For many, stress is an accepted part of daily life. Is it yours?
Maybe it’s your to-do list, a pressure packed work schedule, over committed family calendar, or endless bills in your mailbox...or, all of the above. Sometimes even the domestic and international news that changes by the minute is enough to send us into a hole to hide.
This meditation from 2 Corinthians 5 will hopefully be a counter to the stress of the world by becoming a calm place of hope in the presence of God. A reminder of God’s offer of peace.
Resting in imaginative contemplation for a moment...imagine being in this early young church in the city of Corinth, a beautiful bustling port city in south-central Greece. Your church is new but already dealing with issues that are tearing your church apart. Primarily false teaching and fake news. But this letter from Paul is about truth and hopeful news. News of peace and genuine love. Imagine reading this letter and hearing the teaching. How does it feel hearing of God’s peace and love in the midst of such trouble?
Let me pray that you remember you be careful not to judge people. You belong to Christ and are a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new. Remember that God sent Christ to make peace between himself and you, and he has given you the work of making peace between himself and others. The hopeful message that God was in Christ, offering peace and forgiveness to the people of this world. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Amen.
In the days ahead you will surely face moments of distress and anxiety. But by God’s grace, through Christ you have hope. God offers you peace in the midst of unrest.
You might experience some doubt. Thoughts of worry and feeling overwhelmed, but in those moments simply thank God for the reminder that there is a counter balance to what you hear from the world...his offer of peace.
You might also know someone who needs to hear that same message. Who is that? See them in your mind. And commit to reach out to them. Remind them the hope they have too in Christ. Spend time listening and being present with them. Offering hope to others as God has offered it to you.
So when you are ready, step out to encounter God remembering that the hope you place in the world will be lost, but the peace you receive from God will never be.