PASS THE PEACE
Here we are, Lord. We made it to Friday.
I remember when Friday was a huge sigh of relief. We used to be so thrilled to walk in the door and throw down our purse and other baggage and sit awhile. We used to rest over the weekend and recharge for Monday morning.
But it’s not like that anymore. Sometimes we leave early Friday morning and don’t walk back in the door until late Friday night facing the fact that we have an early Saturday morning game or event or project on the calendar.
We love Fridays, but we are exhausted.
We need a break. Not an easy button. We are ok with hard stuff. But we need a pause button. We need time to think. Time to unwind. Can’t there be a mama day over the weekend where you just pause the lives of all the people around us and let us catch up??
I just want to sit down at my table, have a meal, relax, take deep breaths, and then have some time to get prepared for the next thing. But my table is a mess.
And this pause button idea is a total fantasy.
Meet me at the table.
The messy one?? There’s no room. And I don’t have time to clean it.
I’ve got a table prepared for you in the middle of your messes.
Ok. I’m pulling up a chair.
Set your bags down. All your stresses, all the stuff that is overwhelming you, all the things you meant to do that were left undone this week, all the frustrations and all the fears - set it down.
On the table.
Ok….who all is at this table? What do You want me to bring? A covered dish? A drink?
I have taken care of all of that. Just pull up a chair.
Ok. Here I am. Sitting at the table. Worn out. Ready for a break.
Could you please pass the peace?
I would love to.
What are you willing to trade for the peace?
Ummmm….it seems like You already know the answer to this question. I brought all this baggage...how about that?
That’s a good start.
That Scripture I learned in Bible study comes to mind but I’m not sure if I’ve ever really applied it...
...don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God…
So… trade all of these things I’m worried about?
Yes. You can continue to keep the fear and the stress and the frustrations or you can pass them to me. And I will pass the peace.
But Lord THAT GIRL…..she drives me NUTS. And my kids -- OUT OF CONTROL. They’re going to want to eat dinner at this table any minute. I’m exhausted. And I have 48 things to do tomorrow. I have to get it all done so we can get ourselves to church Sunday and then get ready for the week to start on Monday. Or at least feel like we are ready for the week. We are never really ready for the week.
All of that. Pass it to me.
I’m not sure what that looks like, Lord, but it’s all yours. I’m pushing it across the table. You can have it. I’m tired of juggling it.
It’s weighing you down.
...And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus…
You surrender all of the above and I pass you the peace you’ve needed all along.
You’re right. I knew I needed it but I haven’t really been looking for it.
You cannot find it apart from Me.
But why the table?
...all the days of the oppressed are miserable, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast…
This is why I invite you to the table. I want to give you a cheerful heart.
A continual feast sounds good...and I would love to trade my misery for a cheerful heart...how does that even work?
Think about things that are pure, honorable, just, lovely, true, commendable, anything excellent, anything worthy of praise…
I'll have to totally retrain my brain.
It's a divine exchange.
So just right here right now I can trade all my baggage and you'll help me think about those things?? It's hard to imagine. With all those thoughts swirling in my head. All the demands on me.
Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen...and the God of peace will be with you.
Ok. Here I am Lord. At your table.
It's Friday and I'm exhausted.
I'm bringing all my frustrations and my failures and my fears and my weaknesses. I'm bringing everyone else's fears and failures and weaknesses too. I've been carrying their stuff way too long.
Pass the peace.
These verses I've known for a long time are making more sense.
I release my worries to you.
I’m laying them all on the table.
I'm asking You to show me what I need instead of giving you my list.
Just confessing that brings me peace.
Align my thoughts with yours and help me receive that exchange - this is new for me Lord. You are making all things new. My thoughts and my future and my ways of coping - I trade them all for your peace.
Thank you for inviting me to the table.
I love it here.