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The Spirit of Peace

Frustration seems to be the theme for this week.

Frustration about having an early call for a concert and then having to sit and wait for 1½ hours until concert time.

Frustration about not being able to talk with someone at one of our banking sites because I wasn't on the "list of approved users" on the account.

Frustration about being told that people weren’t responding to requests for information to help in some decision-making.

My Bible readings this week have been from 2 Corinthians. Paul was frustrated with them. "This is the third time I am coming to you...I warned those who sinned previously and all the others...that if I come again, I will not be lenient." (2 Corinthians 13:1-2)

We like it when things go our way. It makes things so much easier for us. What is it that frustrates us? When people do things differently than the way we want them. When things are out of our control.

This feeling of frustration fit so well with Sunday's sermon. The sermon was based on the reading from John 14:24-29: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid."

There is something peaceful and calming about the words "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you."

I'll let Pastor Barbara Melosh's sermon speak to handling frustration:

The peace of Christ doesn’t depend on everything going well. It’s the peace of the God who slept in the boat as the storm raged around him. The peace we ourselves may feel, strangely, in times when our hearts are most troubled and when we are very afraid. When whatever we cling to for security has been lost; when those most dear to us have been taken away from us; when our dreams are shattered and our hope fails. At such times we come face to face with the limits of our own resources, the fragility of our own lives. At such times, as our defenses and our delusions are stripped away, we let go; we fall into God’s arms, and are held in God’s peace.

Whether we are aware of it or not, that peace moves through our lives, the Holy Spirit stirring in us to ease our troubled hearts, to calm our fears. The spirit of peace, when we can let go of anxious comparisons and celebrate someone else’s success;

the spirit of peace, when we are finally able to accept what cannot be changed;

the spirit of peace, when we can love others as they are, and not as we want them to be;

the spirit of peace, when we can see ourselves as God sees us — God’s own beloved sons and daughters.

Thanks Pastor for reminding me of the words to calm my frustration this week.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.”

- Ann Warner

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