“How Beautiful it is to Proclaim Peace”
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” — Isaiah 52:7
The shiny trucks of UPS and Amazon could be called beautiful when they bring things that we have longed to get in stores ourselves because of the pandemic. They bring the necessary and the desired. How beautiful are those trucks!
How much more beautiful, though, are the proclamations we bring into the world about Jesus, our Prince of Peace. How much more beautiful is the news we can share of peace on earth that the angels sang at the birth of Jesus. How much more beautiful it is to know that our God reigns and to proclaim it.
How desperately the children of the world need peace. We wander looking for peace, yet God proclaims peace in the strangest places. It isn’t heard from brass bands or symphonies, or seen in military parades, stock market exchanges or super bowls, but rather among the silence of shepherds on a cold mountain top as we heard a few months ago in Luke’s telling of the nativity story. And then we have the Lenten Scripture that reminds us in the moments when we need it the most — in our desert suffering — peace comes. We are not left alone. The peace of healing appears just as it did with the angel tending to a tempted and tried — and victorious — Jesus.
And isn’t Lent our time to face the uncomfortable reality that such beauty was consummated in the denial of Jesus, in the mocking and the beating, in the shaming questioning of Jesus by the council, Pilate and Herod, and in Jesus’ crucifixion, death and burial? How can it be that God redeems this darkness? God does though. And because of that we can be at peace. We can proclaim that peace.
Lord God, in this time of Lent, help us in our prayers of confession to find our peace and then to proclaim it to others who are seeking the same. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.
Written by: Catherine Gordon