7 December 2019 — Saturday after the First Sunday of Advent

Numbers 6:22–27, Luke 10:3–12, John 14:25–30, John 20:19–28 (read online ⧉)

The Levitical or priestly blesg has been a mainstay for the Jews and Christians for millennia. The pronouncement of blesg, protection, acknowledgment, , favor, and peace pretty much sums up what a life with should result in. What makes this tiny passage even more strange, yet intimate and comforting is that states that this is ’s . Perhaps not a in the proper sense, but ’s nonetheless. ’s would then be Blesg Protecting Shining (i.e., “I see and acknowledge you”) Gracious Favoring Peace-Giving .

When Jesus, therefore, sends out the s, they are being sent out on his (’s) behalf to bestow peace upon others. So, think about this…they are to withdraw their peace from houses that do not . If peace is there…if is there. If peace is not there… is not there. There there is how peace is lived out. The s were to go to the first house that welcomed and accepted them. They were to go from house to house to get a better deal (certainly not the way our culture functions). Were they to do this, they would be contaminating ’s peace that they were sent with.

This becomes even more apparent in Jesus’ bestowing of peace on his 11 s on his final night with them (Judas had left at this point of the evening). They were no longer just sent with his peace (as they were before), but now they were bearers of his peace. It sounds similar, granted, but it is different. Similar to baby birds, they went out (previously) and came back. However, now it was time to leave the nest, and they had to carry forth on their own.

Yet, even on their own, Jesus still has to ore their peace, just as it is with us. They had just ed something horrible, evil, and unjust. Then they experience the unimaginable. Now they were, they felt, like sheep without their shepherd. This time, peace is the tranquility in the . Only Jesus can give it so deeply. Only when we embrace it do we receive it.

1) What does it mean to embrace the peace of ? What might it mean to us and the way we live our lives to embrace the peace of ?

2) Surrender is a ificant part of ’s peace. What needs to be surrendered for ’s peace?

3) What has to be surrendered for the world’s peace? What is the difference in surrendering to and to the world for peace?

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.