Hebrews 12:14 reminds us: “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” I’ve been pondering just what it means to live in peace with everyone. Here are five ways I’m exploring that.
1. Peace archive.
I discovered this week the “peace archive” on the Anabaptist World website! Here are a variety of peace-related articles that explore living peacefully with friends, neighbors, enemies and those we’ve never met, yet are impacted by our choices and actions. What a great place to explore what “peace” means to me.
2. Sharing our stories.
I recently finished reading Walking with Jesus: Stories about Real People Who Return Good for Evil by Mary Clemens Meyer. Originally published 20 years ago, these stories still spoke to me (and my kindergartner). When I finished the final story she said, “That was a GREAT book!! All those stories were about REAL PEOPLE who followed Jesus!” Now following Jesus took on a new dimension and she could picture what it looked like to live in peace with someone who destroyed your vegetable plants, or disagrees with your beliefs. Never underestimate the power of sharing our own stories of how we followed Jesus in the way of peace.
3. Peaceful guide.
4. Peace is an offering.
When my little one was born, a good librarian friend sent us the book Peace is an Offering by Annette LeBox. This beautiful rhyming book is about finding peace in a community of neighbors. I knew the first time I read it that it was one that I wouldn’t mind having to read again, and again, and again! Through written for children, this book is captivating to all ages.
5. Taking time away.
Last weekend I had the opportunity to spend the weekend at our local Mennonite camp (for us it’s the wonderful Camp Mennoscah near Murdock, KS). The weekend away from responsibility for things and others allowed me to find inner peace, to resume living more peacefully with myself as I grounded myself in silence and time with God, time in creation, and rest. I highly recommend taking time “away” from regular rhythms and obligations for a day or more if possible to allow yourself to find peace within yourself.