(This is the fourth post in our Lectio Divina Paci Lenten series. To read the introduction, click here).
READ: Philippians 4.4-8 “the peace of God”
REFLECT: In what seems like a lifetime ago now, I taught biblical studies, Greek and Hebrew at a university in California. A few lucky times, I also got to teach ancient civilizations and sociology of religion. But my first love was always Greek. Nerd alert: as a high school student, I had so many questions about different Bible translations that the only thing I cared about when I started college was getting into a Greek class. And it did not disappoint! Some of the most intriguing questions early in my studies were about simple prepositions like the word “of.” What did “of” mean exactly? In “the peace of God,” was it peace that comes from God? God’s own peace? Both? Something else? Those were fun times.
Remembering that this entire passage is rooted in gratitude and the state of open-heartedness that comes from gratitude, I wondered how God’s peace can coexist with pain and suffering. And then I had an image of a ship in the midst of a raging storm. It occurred to me that God’s peace is like the ballast in the ship that keeps us from capsizing amidst the storms of life.
RESPOND: God, sometimes we fear that opening our hearts in joy and gratitude will only expose us to pain. Help us to trust that your peace undergirds our being, and that when pain comes, we can also trust in the resiliency of your love for us, in us, and in the world.
Sometimes we recognize God’s peace when we look back at the path that has led us to this moment. Sometimes we feel it in our bodies. Sometimes, it’s the only logical explanation while other times it’s completely unexplainable. How do you experience God’s peace in your own life?
Lectio Divina Paci is a weekly devotional guide by Audrey Hindes for peacemakers in the lectio divina form. Lectio Divina (Latin for divine reading) is a traditional Benedictine practice of scripture reading, prayer, meditation, and reflection that treats scripture as the Living Word. Lectio Divina Paci is an opportunity for peacemakers to become more in tune with the voice of the Prince of Peace.