Peace be with you (John 20:19)

Christ promises a peace that passes understanding. He gave it to his disciples in a word. Do you experience that peace? Is your house at rest?

People naturally desire and seek peace in all that they do. Problems? Try to solve them and be at peace again. Have a job to do? Finish it, so that you can return to peace. Are you hungry? Sorrowing? Grieving? Searching? Longing? Take action so that you can return to rest. That’s life.

And yet these actions don’t bring peace. They bring more of the same. Those who seek money so that they can live a peaceful life find that they always want more money. Those who seek honor find that they never have enough honor. Seeking to fulfill our desires doesn’t bring peace—it just reinforces those desires. It’s like beating yourself with a stick to try to stop some pain you are feeling. It’s looking for peace in the wrong place. Peace is found only in one place—in God.

Read Tauler’s Sermon for the First Sunday after Easter, in which he describes three stages by which we ascend to true peace and purity of heart.

According to Tauler, the first stage is being “called out of the world,” by which he means placing our desires on God, not on benefits for ourselves. Peace is turning away from selfish desires. Peace is loving God above all and loving our neighbors as ourselves. When we are “called out of the world,” we learn to know and see God, and to know and see ourselves. We turn. We watch what we say and do and think and love. We strive for a “single eye,” that is, a will toward the kingdom of God and his righteousness. We love God, not the world. We become apostles.

Is there self-centered striving remaining in you? Try seeking the opposite---to give, to be unknown, to divest, to serve.

Second Sunday of Easter, Year C

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Harry Plantinga

Harry Plantinga is a professor of computer science at Calvin University and the director of and