CONDITIONS FOR PEACE
Rev. John Kha Tran
A little girl who, when trains were popular transportation, was taking her first train ride with her parents. As night descended, the mother took the girl, who was clearly quite anxious, and placed her on the upper bunk of the sleeper. She told her little one that up there she would be nearer to God and that God would watch over her.
As silence enveloped the young lady she became afraid and called softly, “Mommy, are you there?”
”Yes dear,” came the response.
A little later, in a louder voice, the child called, “Daddy, are you there, too?”
”Yes dear,” was the reply.
After this had been repeated several times one of the passengers sharing their sleeper car finally lost his patience and shouted loudly, “Yes, we're all here, your father, your mother, your brother, and all your aunts and cousins; now settle down and go to sleep!”
There was a moment of silence and then, in hushed tones a little voice asked, “Mommy, was that God?”
Most of us seem to be afraid of something. We are afraid of dying, of losing our health, our job, our house, or our family. We are afraid of upsetting neighbors, alienating a friend. Fear of terrorist attack, we implement body scanning machine at the airports around the nation. Fear of robbery, we install security alarm systems at home and in our cars. Fear of unwanted visitors and strangers, we set up fences and gates around our houses and border. Many people are even afraid when there is no reason to be afraid. Ours is a world of fearful people. The insurance industry is a product of our fear. Fear is all around us. So Jesus makes it clear to his disciples that he wants them to have peace, and that he would leave that peace with them. This peace, however, is given with pre-condition. The pre-conditions are to love him and to keep his word. Being faithful to his teachings is the evidence of our love for Him. Loving Jesus and obeying his teachings go hand in hand. In this loving relationship, we will be guided by the Holy Spirit. Then we will experience peace.
Love for Jesus
When someone asks us, “Do you love Jesus?” most of us would automatically respond, “Of course I love Jesus.” It is easy to say, ‘Yes, we love God.” “Yes, we love Jesus.” But saying that we love Jesus is not enough. We must show the evidences of our love for Him. The evidences that Jesus expects from us is to keep his word. “Whoever loves me will keep my word.” Keeping His word does not mean that we own a copy of the Bible, taking good care of it, binding it with golden cover, and putting it in a locked crystal box; but keeping his word means that we apply His word in our daily life. We let his word transform our life, guide our conducts, influence our behaviors, and form our character.
On the Lord’s Side
At a critical period in the Civil War, a delegation of well-meaning clergyman called on Lincoln to offer him advice. He answered their questions with patience and courtesy.
“But, Mr. President,” asked one of them, “are you sure that the Lord is on your side?”
“Well, sir,” replied Lincoln, “this is not a question that worries me. The important thing is whether I am on the Lord’s side. I am always trying to get myself there.” (Treasury of Catechism Stories, # 55).
When we are on the Lord’s side, we are safe, secured and at peace. A sure sign that we are on the Lord’s side is to know his word and to keep his word. Jesus assures us that when we keep his word, God the Father will love us and they will come and make their dwelling with us. Making their dwelling with us means they make us their home. We are at home with God; and God is at home with us. When we know God is with us, and we are with Him, we experience true peace. Our fear will disappear.