Become a Promoter of PeaceMay 10, 2023
Blog by Gem Fadling
If we were to only pay attention to the 24-hour news cycle, we would conclude there is very little peace in the world. To be sure, dramatic and traumatic events are going on around the globe. But right in the middle of all that, many people are simply living their lives--loving their families, working hard, and serving others.
We can choose to be people of peace right in the middle of a contentious, distracted, and overwhelmed culture.
Today we’re looking at a scripture passage that gives us beautiful counsel for extending peace to everyone, no matter the circumstances. And there’s a surprising twist that generously benefits us as we do.
Let’s start by reading from Luke 10:
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.
“When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’” (Luke 10:1-9)
I love Jesus’ instructions for speaking to others with the words “peace to you,” along with the idea that those who promote peace will receive peace.
Jesus also alludes to the idea that those who do not promote peace will not receive it. Actually, he says, “it [your peace] will return to you.” We can infer that those who do not want to engage peacefully will not receive peace
At first blush, this may seem spiteful or malicious. If I share the peace of Jesus, why won’t everyone benefit from it? Well, I’m guessing it’s not what Jesus prefers, but it is what Jesus allows.
Remember, everyone gets to decide how they behave, what they continue to think about, what they say, AND what they receive and engage. So, if someone doesn’t choose peace, they will not enjoy its benefits…because they chose to reject it. Again, not because of spite but because of reality. What you don’t welcome you don’t enjoy.
There are many reasons why a person wouldn’t choose peace. Of course, I believe people can grow, change, and become more whole. In fact, I’m basing my life on that. People get to change. And yet some are unwilling to change, and they remain in that state for as long as they choose.
Let’s consider the phrase from verse 6 that says “if not, it will return to you.” The peace we extend to those who choose not to receive it circles back to us. So either way we are blessed. This is a gracious gift that could go unnoticed unless we stop to ponder its significance.
Jesus wanted the disciples to know they would receive the blessing of peace no matter what other people chose. Their own peaceful greeting would return to them and they would benefit from it. It was a little extra loving care on an unknown journey.
In like manner, we can simply extend peace as God has called us to do, and God’s got us covered no matter what others choose for themselves. Either way we are blessed with peace by Jesus. It’s not on us to try to make something happen.
Since you’ve been traveling with us for a while in these emails and blogs, you are likely a person of peace. You are willing to receive what Jesus offers and you desire to extend that same peace to others.
We all have the honor of extending peace and reminding others that God is near. This can occur every day in real ways with the actual people in our lives. We love, serve, mentor, and teach people who are inherently loved by a gracious God. And the blessing of peace is graciously given to those who receive, including us.
Let’s remember the kind of peace Jesus extends by recalling his words from John 14:27:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Take a moment right now to receive this peace. And let Jesus know you are willing to extend this peace to others.