Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
“Peace I leave you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Don’t let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”
INI + AMEN.
((5. Oops!: We live in a world of truces not peace.))
Jesus’ words sounds great, but that’s not how the world works. Daily life isn’t one of peace. Peace isn’t given. It’s exacted. If someone does something wrong, the only way there’s peace, or at least justice, is if that person’s punished in some way. They really have to show they’re sorry, right? Anyway, that’s how peace works with countries. There’s peace through strength.
And so we don’t really live in peace. We actually live lives of truces. That’s actually the best we can hope for, humanly speaking. Peace isn’t an enduring reality, even with those closest to you. There’s always something you can do—maybe something you already do!—that causes a fight or a breakdown in communication or even a breakup! Every marital spat, fight between parents and children, every friction with people at work, at church, or with people you just meet in your daily life—all this shows that we live a life of truces and not peace.
And from the looks of it, we don’t have peace with God either. Are we even at a truce? Just look at what happens in the world, or maybe you don’t even have to look that far! Our lives are full of things that happen that make us think—God’s out to get me for what I’ve done. Peace is over. The truce is ended.
((4. Ugh!: We can’t earn lasting peace.))
And there’s nothing we can do about it. We can’t keep the bridges up. Maybe we can for awhile, but like I said before, there’s things we can do, maybe you’ve done them, where the bridge is burned permanently. There’s no going back. Peace and reconciliation isn’t possible, humanly speaking. No amount of gifts, no amount of works of service, no amount of praises, promises, or “I’m sorry”s will fix it. You can sort of make peace with yourself about it, but that’s not true peace, is it? That’s just loneliness and separation.
You can’t build the bridge back to God either. Trying to get to Him is actually burning the bridge. Our sin separates us from Him and others, and there’s no doing, no believing, no I’m doing better now than I was back then that will get close to Him. There’s no tower to get yourself into heaven or make a name with God. That’s what they tried at Babel. Yahweh sets the record straight: “No, you’re not really united like you think. Not just with each other, but definitely not with Me. ‘Come, let us confuse their language.’”
Confusion isn’t peace. It’s the opposite. Being scattered and separated isn’t peace. You might have a truce, but not much better, and there’s nothing you can really do about it.
((3. Aha!:Jesus makes lasting peace for you.))
What you and I can’t do, Jesus does. He makes lasting peace for you. He’s talking about that in in our Gospel reading: “I love the Father, and I do just like He commands. Rise, let’s go from here.” And then Jesus is off to Gethsemane, Pilate, Calvary, death, tomb, and resurrection all for you.
That’s how Jesus makes lasting peace, “through the blood of His cross,” as Paul says. The Father loves you. You’re at peace. Jesus won it. Now the Father can and does use everything that happens for your good. He’ll make it turn out all good in the end. He just has too. Jesus died and rose. Jesus “made peace through the blood of His cross.”
How can there not be peace? God died and rose. If that doesn’t make peace, nothing will. But in fact He has died and risen, and so there is peace. He made it so. Lasting peace. Eternal peace.
((2. Whee!: JESUS GIVES HIS PEACE TO YOU.))
Jesus isn’t done though. He didn’t just make lasting peace. JESUS GIVES HIS PEACE TO YOU. He really does. That’s Jesus’ Pentecost Promise: “Peace I leave you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Don’t let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” JESUS GIVES HIS PEACE TO YOU.
That really is what Pentecost is all about, what the Spirit’s all about, too. Just look at what happened at Pentecost! Babel’s undone! No more mixup. No more confusion. The Gospel for everyone, Jesus for everyone, peace in Jesus for everyone. That’s what the Apostles preach: “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD,” the name of Jesus, “will be saved.”
Pentecost, the Spirit’s work is the delivery of Jesus’ peace. Not just in Jerusalem, but here, too. In Holy Baptism you receive peace. That’s how the Apostles wrapped up Pentecost day, they baptized like 3,000 people. There the Spirit and the peace of Jesus were delivered and given to them. You have that same peace. You’re baptized.
JESUS GIVES HIS PEACE TO YOU. You’ve been washed in His blood at the font. You receive His peace in the blood of communion. This is why in our liturgy the most common word is peace. Here Jesus through the Spirit and the Spirit through the Gifts deliver Jesus’ peace to you. You have it. Here it is. Again and again. Has to be yours. JESUS GIVES HIS PEACE TO YOU.
We cherish this peace. We “keep,” cherish, hold on to, cling to “My Word,” as He tells us. Why wouldn’t we? There He’s giving us His peace! We don’t think about it but we receive like He tells us. We listen. We eat. We drink. There’s peace. “My peace I give you.”
((1. Yeah!: Jesus’ is a daily peace.))
But Jesus’ peace is a daily peace, too. You have daily peace in your service. You pass on Jesus’ peace! His forgiveness. JESUS GIVES HIS PEACE TO YOU, and HE GIVES HIS PEACE to those around you through you. Use His peace to build up bridges. Yeah, you can’t fix stuff, but Jesus’ blood covers a multitude of sins. There’s peace to rebuild any bridge. How could God’s blood not do that? Especially for us here! We’re already communing together anyway—blooded together in peace.!
But even more important than that is this: “Don’t let your hearts be trouble or afraid.” Whenever there’s trouble, know this: Jesus died and rose for you, you’re baptized, you’ve got His Word, you’ve got His absolution, you’ve got His body and blood. JESUS GIVES HIS PEACE TO YOU. You have it. No matter what happens in this life. You have eternal peace.
Jesus’ peace, the peace He gives to you, is an eternal peace. Just listen to more of His Pentecost promises: “we will come to him and make our home with him.” This happens fully in eternal life. It will happen. Jesus made peace. Blood. Death. Resurrection. JESUS GIVES HIS PEACE TO YOU. Font. Absolution. Mutual forgiveness. Body and Blood.
INI + AMEN.