Walking Together on the Path to Peace
Peace in Relationships
After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go.
Reflection: Road trip! Travel may be more fun with friends. Facing the unknown may be smoother with a companion. Engaging potential hostilities may be safer with partners. Let’s face it: living life in general is often not fun, smooth or safe. Often when we aspire to step into the justice and mercy of God, we find instead discontentment, embarrassment or insecurity. And so, as we do the hard work of building peace in our community and abroad, Jesus calls us into partnership with each other.
Jesus sends his friends out like sheep among wolves, with none of the items that might make us believe we are secure: an emergency fund, a well packed suitcase or our favorite snacks. Instead, he says all we need is another by our side. Within a local congregation, we find the relationships that work for peace. We are a people, individually and communally, who have received God’s compassion. As such, we are called to become a people of peace, dedicated to justice. Our congregations provide us practicums in peacemaking. In relationships, we can stand as we cannot on our own.
When Moses stood before Pharaoh, he always stood with another (see Exodus, from chapter 4 onward). When he stood alone and struck the rock, ego got in the way of God’s work (Numbers 20). There is comfort in not being alone. But there is more than comfort: there is a space for self-examination and growth. It is in the context of authentic relationships, the sacred space and bond between people, that we are best able to engage our own internal work. Creating and sustaining those honest, challenging relationships is a core way in which the church joins God in transforming us into people of God’s peace.
Jesus sends us together.
Practice for Peacemakers: Identify a congregation member or other friend with whom you are willing to share your internal spiritual challenges. Begin praying together at least once a week.
Prayer: Compassionate God, let our relationships create the space for our transformation into people of peace, that we may rededicate ourselves and our communities to be sanctuaries of justice.
Rachel Anderson serves in Louisville, KY, as mission specialist for the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program.
This year’s Season of Peace Resources are designed to help participants explore practices for building peace on every scale. From the personal level to global issues, these reflections and prayers will help grow the faith and witness of the whole church. Throughout the 29 days of the 2020 Season of Peace, we are invited to reflect upon:
Week 1 September 6–12: Peace Within
Week 2 September 13–19: Peace in Relationships
Week 3 September 20–26: Peace in Community
Week 4 September 27–October 3: Peace in the World
Final Day October 4: Holistic Peacemaking