The Peace of Christ

Scripture Reading — Colossian 3:12-17

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts . . . as members of one body. . . . And be thankful. — Colossians 3:15

My grandmother was one of the most peaceful and thankful persons I’ve ever met. As a young boy, I often took her cheerful personality for granted. Looking back on her life, though, I cannot help wondering how she managed to escape bitterness and resentment.

Her younger years on a farm in Russia were tough. In her teens she endured the war, Nazi occupation, hunger, hard labor, and suffering. Later, after moving to a city, she was injured in a work-related accident and lost the use of her right hand. Even so, she remained cheerful and thankful to the very end. How can this be?

There’s an answer in today’s passage. The apostle Paul talks about the Christian calling to peace and thanksgiving. For him, these attitudes did not depend on happy life experiences or special training. Peace and thanksgiving come through Christ alone.

When Christ’s peace rules in our hearts, it changes us and our perspective on the world. It gives us strength to meet our challenges with grace and ­humility. And no matter what—we are called to be thankful.

I’m convinced that my grandmother had the peace of Christ in her heart. Each of us can experience this peace too, if we humble ourselves before God.

Do you have this peace?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, help us to humble ourselves and receive the peace of Christ. Teach us how to reflect your peace in this world with grace and thanksgiving. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.