Anglican Lutheran Lenten Reflections

Anglican Lutheran Lenten Reflections

The Peace of God (Philippians 4:4–9)

Daily Lenten Reflection - Saturday, 11 March 2017

Week 2: Liberated by God’s Grace

Week 2, Day 7

“The Blessing at Holy Communion,” The Book of Common Prayer 

The peace of God,

which passeth all understanding,

keep your hearts and minds

in the knowledge and love of God,

and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;

and the blessing of God Almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost,

be amongst you and remain with you always. Amen

The Peace of God (Philippians 4:4–9)

Mark MacDonald, Anglican, Canada

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

Thus the remembrance that we have come from earth never allows anger to awaken. Let the earth, always present and remembered, be an ally to reason.

St. Basil the Great

Our ancestors remembered creation’s importance in the ordering of life and the peace of God that emerges within it. Today, not so much, and we have to be reminded that the peace that God offers is intimate with creation.

Modern Christians have struggled to find peace while living in a culture that is progressively alienated from creation. The comforts of modern life distance us from creation; positive developments with negative consequences. Science, too, reveals so much but often obscures the complexities of our symbiotic relationship to creation by reducing it to scientific technique. As we multiply the understanding of the intricate details of life, we seem ever more incapable of effectively recognizing our intense and extensive place within the larger fabric of life.

We are stressed by creation’s suffering, a suffering accelerating from its defilement by an economic ordering of life that is heedless of consequences. The stress is constant these days, as a dull ache made of relentless bad climate news and a growing sense that we have crossed a line toward irreparable harm.

Great goodness would come from recognizing that the peace that comes from God includes creation. The simple acknowledgement that God has made us to live, as much as possible, in harmony with creation could change attitudes and behaviors. There is no other context for the life of holiness and happiness we are designed for. Even if it is too late to stop some of the harm of climate change, the strength of our future peace will be found with our reconciling human life in the rest of creation.

“On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the Anglican-Lutheran International Coordinating Committee has compiled a collection of Lenten reflections to commemorate the anniversary. The text can be used by small groups or individual, as a Lenten reading or as a resource for the weeks between Easter and Trinity Sunday. We are sharing these reflections daily during Lent, hoping that our common experience of God’s grace may draw our two families of churches closer together in this extraordinary year, and be used beyond 2017 and actually at any time.”