This image is from a previous family excursion to Ruidoso, New Mexico around Thanksgiving. It is one of my favorites. It brings me to a peaceful place.
Today, after the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas, I join colleagues in ministry who are writing words of comfort, words of challenge, words of peace, words that may bring communities of faith closer to a place of peace.
Mass shootings make no sense. Why would someone be so mad, so angry, so upset, so out of control, so evil? Why do innocents suffer? Why is this part of our current society? Why?
This past Sunday at Hunt United Methodist Church we began a month long discernment of what grace is doing in our lives and what difference we can make together through God's grace in our community and in our world. That was yesterday. This is today. And the question remains. Is the grace of God now in our world? Or has it gone missing? If so, why?
I am confident in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. I have faith that peace is an outcome of grace. Peace comes into my soul when I see community gathered to celebrate at the Lord's Supper. Peace comes into my soul when I hear the sounds of heart-felt conversation between divergent opinions related to matters of the future. Peace comes into my soul when I experience the goodness of God's creation even in the midst of natural environmental disasters occurring at the intersection of populations and earthquakes, hurricanes, and forest fires.
Grace and peace are part of our language when we speak of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Grace and peace are words of blessing in our coming and going. Grace and peace is said to share acts of mercy, acts of compassion, acts of hope.
In the midst of violence and a seeming lack of peace like I feel today, I am reminded of peace-filled spaces. A beautiful sunrise in the mountains has a way of restoring hope in the midst of darkness. For light is the expected outcome of a sunrise just as peace is my expected outcome from grace.
Is God's grace with us today? Most definitely! Grace is what holds us together on days like today. Grace is what God provided when our Lord suffered and died for the world. Grace is what led Jesus from the grave and into God's vision of a new day. Grace is God with us in this very moment when chaos and evil seem to be gaining the upper hand.
Grace and peace be with you my soul friend. What difference is grace doing in your life and in mine? Today, let it be enough to bring peace.
Along the Way with Pastor Paul Harris
Author: Paul E Harris
Journal posts from a pastor and spiritual friend