by DanWolgemuth on February 6, 2009

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. ~ John 14:27

Nearly four years ago, when Mary and I left our dear friends in Kansas City and moved to Denver, they threw a farewell party for us. The time together was rich and moving, as were the tangible expressions of love and support. In fact, this group of individuals bought me my very own Blackberry cell phone.

As our time with these friends drew to a close, we stood in a circle and I did my very best to express some thoughts of love and thanks, some departing words of wisdom and encouragement.

In the Gospel of John, we see a record of a similar departing expression, this time from Jesus. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.”

This beautiful verse dispenses what society, culture, and our world never can or will. Peace. Shalom. A transcendent comfort that stands in stark contrast to a circumstantially based substitute.

He offers His followers HIS peace.

Peace in the face of lying witnesses. Peace through the assassination of His reputation. Peace during the lonely hours of rejection. Peace when God seemed silent. Peace in the depths of personal pain. Peace while loved ones mourned. Peace in the dissonance. Transcendent comfort. Shalom.

Not the absence of tears or the elimination of pain, but a deep, abiding, authentic well from which we dip into the vast resources of a perfectly lived life, and the Holy Spirit that remains with us still.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.”

Through the deepest valley, in the face of the most profound obstacle, a parting word from Jesus.

Shalom indeed. Shalom from Jesus.

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