I imagined the expansive prairie night sky as Dr. Meghan Good gave the sermon July 7. She opened her message on "Jesus is the Peace" by describing this: space is rapidly expanding as planets, galaxies and stars move away from each other faster than the speed of light. As a result, eventually, people standing in the middle of a wide wheat field will look up and see only darkness.
She used this metaphor to discuss how she is noticing how human beings seem to be on the same trajectory of spreading further and further apart. She said our hope in this scenario is that what God has planned for the climax of all time is to bring all things together in Christ (Ephesians 1:10).
In the harrowing, violent times we are living, it is the person of Jesus who will provide the powerful gravitational pull towards healing and wholeness in our reconciliation work. Jesus is pivotal to that peacemaking, because Jesus IS the peace that brings us together in the work, provides the presence in that work, and empowers the peace that the work is meant to evoke.
She encourages us to be as sure of God as we are of doing good. To understand how inseparable peace is to Jesus.
Paul's hope in Ephesians and ours, whether on home computers in Kansas or Pennsylvania or Oregon, or near the Cincinnati stage, is that in Christ, God is reversing the great cosmic scattering and reconciling all things to God's self. Before bed, go outside wherever you are to gaze at the night sky, or the city scape. Breathe in the expanse, view the stars or the flashing billboards. And remember that Jesus is drawing us together to offer the light and heat of his healing and hope, not the blaze of our own fires that will eventually burn out.