Yesterday we said that our past has been dealt with – but what about the present? At the end of his life, the baby of the Christmas story became the man of the cross. In some of his last teaching he shares the words of today’s verse with those he was closest to. The Message paraphrase says:

‘I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left – feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught. 

We live in the real world – a broken real world. While we often think of peace as being without trouble and strife (the absence of pain and suffering and heartache), that kind of peace, as lovely as it sounds, is difficult to find and even harder to sustain. So we need a peace that transcends circumstances, that allows us to rise above the urgency of the immediate, that allows us to have a clear head and a peaceful heart and spirit in the midst of the chaos and disappointment which often defines life. 

Question: Do any of these words resonate with you at the moment – abandoned, bereft, upset, distraught, chaos, disappointment? Are there other similar words, thoughts or feelings that you are dealing with in your own life or the lives of those close to you? What do you need from God in the midst of these circumstances?