cross shining through fingers held up to sun
How can we attain inner peace?

The following guest sermon was submitted by ULC Minister Reeia Lalchan. All members of the ULC community are invited to contribute their own sermons for consideration/publication. To submit a sermon, please email it to sermons@themonastery.org.


Reflections of my heart... maintaining personal peace in a chaotic world. Isaiah 11:6-11 gives perhaps the best imagery of what peace in the world would look like: “Animals are paired off in a strange and wonderful way: the wolf and the lamb, the leopard with the kid, the calf with the lion, the cow with the bear, the lion and the ox. They shall be led by a child.” (Glenn E. Schaefer) Isaiah 2:4 also describes the nations of the world coming under the rule of the ‘Prince of Peace', saying, “they will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks.” What strikes me most from these passages is the harmony, the peace, between the animal kingdom and humankind. In other words, peaceful coexistence. A beautiful picture, is it not? But the reality is that this beautiful environment of peace can only become a reality when we, humankind, have established a right relationship with God, acquiring that state of inner peace within ourselves. You see, peace is not simply the absence of war, chaos and strife. The Biblical concept of peace takes its definition from the Hebrew word ‘slm’ which translates “to be complete”. Peace, therefore, is a state of being.

Chasing an Illusion

How many of us spend so much time, energy and money chasing the illusion of peace which the world offers? The peace which this world offers lasts only for a while. We may be lulled into thinking that we have attained peace when our circumstances are favourable. But what happens when we fall on hard times, when we face difficult relationships, when our health poses challenges, when our situation becomes less favourable? We become angry, discontented, at ‘war’ with ourselves and others, sometimes even God! Worldly peace disappears when circumstances are beyond our control. I know of many successful, powerful people who would gladly trade all their material possessions for one moment of true peace. If we were asked to suggest what was wrong with today’s world, we may suggest some of these: the pandemic, the unstable stock market, corrupt governments, global warming, insufficient health care, lack of food, broken families, and the list can go on and on. We try to somehow ‘fix’ these problems by doing good, feeding the hungry, passing laws to conserve wildlife, whatever it takes to create a bandaid of peace. Just like in the Old Testament when the false prophets treated ‘sin’ lightly and proclaimed the problem ‘solved’. “They have healed the wound of my people lightly saying,’Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.” Jeremiah 6:14. Does it last? Of course not. Our actions address the symptoms of a sinful world, but we fail to see the root of the problem - our own sinful nature. Only Christ can cure this disease and grant us lasting peace. Another factor which can rob us of our peace is that of the pain of broken promises. No matter what our position, age or gender, we have all, at some point, experienced the disappointment caused by those around us. And, sometimes in spite of our best intentions we, too, can disappoint by saying one thing and doing something else.

One Road to Peace

There is only one person in whom we can trust to never disappoint us...our Heavenly Father. God can always be trusted to keep His Word. He never contradicts Himself or acts in a way that is out of character. He will never disappoint. As we prepare ourselves during this Advent season, let us be mindful that God sent His only Son to foster a relationship between Himself and us, sinful humankind. Through Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection He bridged the gap that sin had inserted between us and God. He took the punishment for our sin and, in exchange He gives us peace with God. “For He Himself is our peace, Who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility.” Ephesians 2:14 So while we have the opportunity to experience eternal peace through reconciliation with God, we also receive the gift of His Holy Spirit. And when we accept this gift and allow it to be present in our daily lives, even when chaos threatens to upset our calm, for then we will all have that true peace which surpasses all understanding.

10 comments

  1. Alan S Corr's Avatar Alan S Corr

    Amen love it !

  1. Clay Serenbetz's Avatar Clay Serenbetz

    delusionary drivel

    1. Ralph A. Lawrence's Avatar Ralph A. Lawrence

      I'd be interested to know why you say this. The person who wrote the message was affirming the classic understanding of the Christian faith that has been welcomed by well informed and educated Christians for some 2000 years. This is not drivel, but intellectually sound Christian thinking, agreed with by a wide range of intelligent people, theologians of PhD level and above in many, many graduate schools across the world, and by theological leaders of all the major Christian denominations. These are not deluded, misled people.

      If you call this drivel, and have an intellectually defensible statement, we need to hear your case.

      1. dragonlord3759's Avatar dragonlord3759

        Though this person doesn't seam to believe in the Christian system it is their right to call it whatever they want to. I do have my own peace within myself with a higher power, and i tend to believe that the more i do for others the more i receive in return. Which the bible states also, and the person here in their sermon seams to discount as not being helpful in achieving piece. So I also have a small problem with this but not enough to call it drivel. your friend in love and piece

  1. flugo's Avatar flugo

    Spot on!

  1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

    “He never contradicts Himself or acts in a way that is out of character.”

    This sentence could be true considering his desire to kill little children, his condoning stoning people to death, and slavery. Not to mention his killing of everyone on earth, men, women, children, apart from the drunken Noah and his family. On the good side, it all appears to be myth anyway.

    🦁❤️

  1. John P Maher's Avatar John P Maher

    THE BEST WAY to KEEP INNER PEACE is TO KEEP the PEACE INSIDE by KEEPING YOUR PEACE TRAP [ mouth ] S H U T !

  1. Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson's Avatar Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson

    One can be an outsider to Christianity, as am I, yet still find some beauty and comfort in observations from the worldview expressions from within that Way.

  1. joe's Avatar joe

    Peace is overrated. From the first plant that grew a little taller to overshadow the one next to it to the one cell creature that grew another cell so it could be the badass to the company that invented the microchip and made all else obsolete. If there was world peace we wouldn't be here. As self aware beings we want something better but everything is as it should be. So Merry Christmas everyone and should all your lights be bright (er than your neighbors)

  1. Lori Mongillo's Avatar Lori Mongillo

    Since the death of Jesus there has not been world peace, which was the promise, as there was no world peace before. Illusion is in the eyes of the beholder. The religions of Christianity have a long history of abusive behavior and fabrication. If one delves into the historical facts behind the religions progress, rather than become inflated with the fabricated stories intended to manipulate the masses, you will find the reality that there is no peace in the stories of the bible. There is no devil lurking near by to take hold of us. Taking responsibility for our own actions is key, rather than trying to blame our indiscretions on some evil spirit. Each person has their own spiritual interpretation of who or what God is or is not. God does not belong to the Christians. God belongs to all faiths and non-faiths. Sadly, Christianity surrounds themselves with this superior attitude that they have dibs on God and profess to know what God thinks. Jesus' original message had nothing to do with tribal superiority and division. The only way we can ever come close to peace will be when we shed our arrogance and tribal superiority, and see that all people, no matter what religion, race or sexual orientation, are vessels of Spirit at quantum, conscious and spiritual levels. When people stop seeing their spiritual sense of reality as the correct and only way, peace may become possible. Imagine looking at the person next to you and saying, "I see the Spirit in you no matter who or what you are", rather than, "You must find Jesus and be saved, or you will be condemned to hell". Which one of these statements resembles that original message? Peace is a state of mind. It cannot be achieved when there is a need to correct the way others perceive God. It can only be achieved by correcting our own perceptions of God and what we want to see in this world. It will never be healed by, "My tribe is better than your tribe."

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