It doesn’t seem to have been very effective,
that Johanine blessing of peace
upon the lips of Jesus.
Wars, crusades and other violences
have never been in short supply
throughout the years of Christendom.
And so we internalised peace;
pointing to the interior serenity
of those who have come
to worship the Christ.
Self-satisfied peace is not worthy
of disciples.It seems a sad substitute
for an end to brutality, violence and bitterness,
not to mention suffering, abuse, hatred
and fear-engendering politics.
see for yourself.
“My peace I give to you,”
the Nazarene is reported as saying.
Are these words for real?
It we take them seriously,
we might need to accept our discipleship calling
to become makers of peace;
we might need to actually do something.
Something to give peace substance,
to clothe it in reconciling flesh and blood,
like the one who came to be its prince.
Something that helps end the fear
and begins to make peace happen.
So, is he the Messiah;
and what does it mean
if he is?
That eternal-life thing;
is it about heaven and the afterlife,
or is it something more significant?
The sheep that hear his voice,
the ones that follow him,
we’re talking discipleship now,
costly and committed,
It’s not just some pretty, clichéd,
an assiduous shepherd,
with beard and long flowing hair,
carrying a cute but errant lamb
upon his noble shoulders;