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What Do You Expect? — part 5 in a series of opulence

October 26, 2019


There’s an image from like the 1960s. It’s a circle with a long straight line down the middle and  two other lines coming out of the long one about half-way down and angling south to the circle?

(Or are they coming out the circle and pointing north?) (And some people still say it’s a broken and rearranged Cross*.) (Hmmmmm.)

For decades now, it’s been called The Peace Symbol.


One of my favorite moments among many in worship is during the Sacrament of Holy Communion. We remind one another of so much more than the words we say can ever convey:

“The peace of Christ be with you.”

“And also with you.”

That’s a shared blessing that’s at the heart of who we are as followers of Christ Jesus. By the grace of God, all our useless striving, which must sometimes look silly to our Lord, is covered up by reality of the Christ’s peace already at work within us.

It’s working within us as individuals and as a church sharing life together.


It’s no surprise that St. Paul had this to offer Christians long ago and us today —

May the God of hope
fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in him,
so that you may overflow with hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13, New International Version

— And yet.

And yet Jeremiah 6:14 soberly and frighteningly says, “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.”

And yet there’s 1st Thessalonians 5:3“When people are saying, ‘Everything is peaceful and secure,’ then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape.


But Christ himself still  offers us this: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)

Roll all this together, and what do you get?

Or as my real life friend and fellow Rivers of Life Clergy Band member Mark Doane asked in a sermon this past Tuesday evening, “What are you looking for? What do you expect?” Those are gooooood questions as we get ready to gather for worship this weekend, and then as we scatter to be the church all of next week.





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