A Season of Peace: Tuesday, September 4, 2018

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Peace that passes understanding: loving all of creation


By Rev. Dr. Antonio (Tony) Aja

Acts 2:1–13

All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”
But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”


Reflection: However we understand this miracle, we know it is a miracle of full inclusion. The Holy Spirit comes upon the crowd, and no matter where they come from, each one of them is able to hear the words of hope in their own language. However, there are still some in the crowd who doubt the power of God, make fun, and claim that those who speak other languages are “filled with new wine”—drunk, in other words.

The renowned church historian Justo González gives us a plausible explanation. He writes that perhaps these mockers could very well represent the privileged ones who expect to understand everything said because their language is the dominant language. They are at home, and so they expect everyone to speak their language and do things their way. They represent the “norm” to which everyone else has to adapt.[1]

They think that their language—or way of thinking or acting—is better than everybody else’s.

Action: As descendants of those multilingual disciples in Jerusalem, it is our duty to make sure that church and society accept, affirm, and celebrate our differences—advocating for the rights of everyone, no matter who they are, what language they speak, or where they come from. Whom do you know who speaks a language other than English? Have you tried learning their language?

Prayer: God of the diverse creation, we give you thanks for the colors, the sizes, the forms you created. Give us the courage to accept everyone as they are, even if we are mocked by those who do not understand your indiscriminate love for all of your creation. Amen.


[1] González, Justo, Acts, The Gospel of the Spirit, Orbis Books, 2001.

Rev. Dr. Antonio (Tony) Aja is a minister member of the Presbytery of Santa Fe and currently serves as pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is the current moderator for the Hispanic/Latinx National Presbyterian Caucus and an adjunct professor at McCormick Theological Seminary. A former refugee from Cuba, Tony has developed new ministries with refugees and immigrants in Florida and Kentucky.



This year’s A Season of Peace resources are designed to help Presbyterians explore different forms and lenses for peacemaking. From the personal level to global issues like human trafficking and sustainable development, these reflections and prayers will help grow the faith and witness of the whole church. Through the days of this year’s A Season of Peace, we are invited to reflect on:

  1. Peace that passes understanding: personal testimonies of faith and peace within self, within families, within communities
  2. Partners in peace: interfaith work for peace and justice, building peace between us while witnessing to peace in our wider world
  3. Go and see: reflections from travel study seminar participants
  4. The church and its witness: reflections on addressing trafficking in its varied forms
  5. Peacemaking and practice: stories and reflections on building bridges and crossing divide

Each author represents a variety of vocations and experiences in peacemaking efforts. Individuals and households are invited to make use of these daily reflections beginning on Sunday, September 2, and concluding on World Communion Sunday, October 7.

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