“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” – John 14:26-27
These have always been words that have brought me comfort. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you…” and then “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not let them be afraid.”
I think it’s interesting that Jesus says these words immediately after he promises the gift of the “Advocate,” the Holy Spirit. That Holy Spirit would teach “everything,” and remind the disciples of what Jesus had said. The result of the work of the Holy Spirit? It is being filled with peace.
Too often we think of peace as simply the lack of conflict, or violence, or war. When we hear of violence we pray for it to stop; we pray for peace. But we forget that this is only one small aspect of peace. It is not simply taking away what is bad, it is filling us with what is good.
Peace, according to Jesus, is the absence of troubled hearts and fear. But the Biblical idea of peace is even more the gifts of the Holy Spirit: Love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. These gifts fill us. They are the peace that Jesus leaves with us through the work of the Spirit.
When we pray for peace in the world, or our community, or in our lives, pray to be filled with these gifts. Because when God’s Spirit fills us, there is no room for hearts that are troubled, or for fear.
Come, Holy Spirit, and fill our hearts.
Thanks be to God!