INI + AMEN.
((5. Oops!: The world offers a false peace.))
The world says to you, “Peace and safety!” But it’s a lie. The world offers “peace and safety,” but it’s all a sham. It’s as certain as a forecast, as solid as air, as secure as quicksand. Politicians try to offer peace. It doesn’t matter if they’re on the right or the left: peace in our borders; peace in our homes; peace in our retirement; peace in our healthcare. No matter what sort of peace the world offers, it’s not lasting. It’s fake! The peace of a padded bank account, of a nice home, of sound mind, healthy body—now that peace may last for a time, but the grave is the great equalizer. It shows that the world’s peace lasts only as long as we can keep it going or as long as we keep going.
((4. Ugh!: We seek and want this false peace.))
But that doesn’t stop us from trying now, does it? Of course not! It’s easy to think there’s peace and safety when our bank account’s at the right amount. We’re at peace with our homes and trucks, we’re at peace with our lives. We’re lured into the world’s false peace. But… What sort of peace do you have in a lean year? From drought or deluge? What sort of peace when you’ve spent more money than you have? Either out of carelessness or just plain need? What sort of peace is there when the doctor’s got news for you? In all those cases and many more, the world’s peace flies out the window. There’s no “peace and safety” at all in our bank accounts, in our own health and strength. There’s no peace whatsoever in those false gods of the world. They truly are false gods, useless idols. We put our trust in them, But what sort of help do they offer you? None.
((3. Aha!: JESUS SECURES TRUE PEACE FOR YOU.))
Listen to Jesus, dear saints of God. Hear what He has to say to you today, dear Christian. To each of you and to all Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” Jesus has a different sort of peace, not the world’s peace. It’s radically different, and He’s won it for you. Listen to what He says, “The ruler of the world is coming, and He’s got nothing on Me; but just as the Father commanded Me, so I do.” Oh, the ruler of the world, the devil, worked things out to kill Jesus, but He’s got nothing on Jesus. Jesus does as the Father commands Him. He dies. He rises. In this way He casts down the ruler of this world. He saves us from our false gods, the idols, the false peace and safety we so often trust in. His blood ransoms us. Pays for those sins. Now you are at peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
((2. Whee!: The Spirit is the Peace-deliverer.))
Jesus has secured peace for you. He Calvaried and Eastered to do it! But wait; there’s more! “My peace I give to you,” He says. How does He give it? Now, that’s where Pentecost, the giving of the Spirit, comes in because the Spirit is the Peace-deliverer. If we had continued reading in Peter’s Pentecost sermon from Acts, we would have heard him say, “Let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children, and for all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” That’s the Spirit’s work even for you. The Spirit was at work in the waters of your Baptism, delivering Jesus’ cross-won peace to you, the forgiveness of sins. In fact, as Peter says, the Spirit Himself was given to you there. He is, after all, as Jesus calls Him, not the “Helper,” but “the Comforter,” the Peace-deliverer who gives you Jesus’ peace.
((1. Yeah!: We have real and everlasting peace in Jesus through the Spirit.))
Now, because of the Spirit’s work, we have real and everlasting peace in Jesus. Jesus has reconciled us to the Father, doing what He was commanded to do—die and rise. The Spirit is sent from the Father in Jesus’ name to be the Comforter, the peace-deliverer. Jesus Himself sends the Spirit so that you would cling to His Word, the Word which gives the Spirit. For it’s through Jesus’ Word that the Spirit works. He works, as Peter confesses, in Jesus’ Baptism. He’s at work in my Absolution, as Jesus says in John 20. He’s at work in Jesus’ Word: “This is My body…this is My blood…given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” It’s no wonder then that we “depart in peace” after receiving Jesus’ body and blood, or that we sing “Lord, now You let your servant depart in peace.” Jesus delivers His peace to you there. It’s an everlasting peace. As long as Christ is risen from dead it endures. (That’s forever.) So we cherish, guard, and hold dear Jesus’ peace-delivering, Holy-Spirit-filled Word in all the ways that it’s delivered.
Jesus loves you. The Father loves you. The Spirit loves you. Reconciled by Jesus, You have peace with God the Father. The Spirit delivers it to you. Then one day, when all false peaces have fallen to pieces, and there is nothing left for you in this life, and even on the Last Day there is eternal peace for you. The Spirit will bring your body back to life to live forever. For as Jesus says, “[The Father and I] will come to him and make Our dwelling with him,” and as He says earlier in John 14, “In My Father’s house are many dwellings.” Eternal life with God for you, dear Christian. There is “peace and safety” for you, dear saints of God. Eternal peace. Eternal life. It’s Jesus’ peace. Cross-won. Holy-Spirit-delivered in water, in Absolution, and in Jesus’ body and blood.
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
INI + AMEN.