As we approach the end of our Christmas celebration and look toward the new year, there's talk of the "fiscal cliff" we are approaching. What is stirring in your soul as you think about 2013?
These are stormy times for our country. I don't have to talk about feelings of fear and uncertainty. Many of us are feeling overwhelmed right now. However, it makes me think of a situation in which Jesus' disciples found themselves. They had spent the day ministering with Jesus and had gotten into the boat to cross the sea. A storm came up without warning, and was thrashing their boat, and the waves were filling it with water. Meanwhile, Jesus was said to be sleeping in the stern on a pillow. The disciples demonstrated their distress saying, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" Jesus then arose, "rebuked the wind and said to the sea, 'Peace. Be still!" Everything became calm and you can imagine the disciples response: awe-inspired worship.
It's important to realize that while Jesus is, was, and always will be God, while He was on the earth, we're told "He did not consider equality with God something to be grasped." (Philippians 2:6) As a man, Jesus demonstrated a reality that we were created to live in, and would have the capacity to experience, once reconciled (living as one) with the Father as He was. The Kingdom of God (where God's will is done on earth as it is in Heaven) was found in Him. So Jesus was able to sleep in the midst of the storm because there was a reality greater than the storm, residing in Him: Peace (no storms in Heaven!). So when Jesus said, "Peace!" He was releasing what was in Him over the waters. You can't give away what you don't have.
I believe most of us, including me, struggle to grasp the extent of what was accomplished when Jesus reconciled us to the Father by His death on the cross. Forgiveness of sins is so amazingly wonderful, but it is just the beginning. It sounds crazy, but when Jesus said, "It is finished!" he meant it. Having entered into the new covenant with Christ as our representative, you and I are just as "one with the Father" as Jesus. We can now celebrate "communion!" That means, if you have invited Christ to come and live in you, that same peace demonstrated and found in Jesus now resides in you. You and I, by God's grace, now have the capacity to bring the Kingdom of God that is now within us into each situation we find ourselves