Paul’s Peace

When my grandmother passed away, I inherited a unique Kurdish kilim.

It is a woven hall runner with intricately made designs. When I turn it over to clean, I am always amazed at the tangles of knots and thread on the back. The artisans who weave kilims have an amazing skill.

Psalm 139 tells us that the Lord God carefully wove each of us as we were being formed in the womb. Not only are the intricate parts of our cells fascinatingly constructed, but even our skin, the most visible part of us is arranged in a basketweave formation. If you look closely at the skin under a microscope, it is woven together.

This weave is so unique that it can’t even be replicated by the healing process of scarring. When we are injured and a scar forms, it is made out of the same protein, collagen, as our healthy skin; however, instead of the basketweave pattern, a scar aligns collagen in all the same direction. The Weaver only wove it once. Then, He gave us the capability of healing, but it never is quite the same as when He made it.

The technique of weaving produces strength in the composition. If threads or fibers are woven together in two directions, then it is more difficult to rip, tear, or injure it. Sioux Manufacturing Corporation, in my home town, produces woven Kevlar products. Kevlar is used by the U.S. armed forces as a composite armor in helmets, body armor, and floors of vehicles. The weave increases the strength of the bullet-proof material.

So far this Advent season, we have contemplated the hope, love, and joy that come as a result of receiving the gift of Christ. Because of Christ’s Advent among us, Peter urged hope, John exemplified love, and James counted it all joy. The Apostle Paul wrapped it all up by saying that if we have hope and if we have the comfort of love, then we can complete our joy by being unified in peace.

Peace is God’s gift of wholeness. When all the essential parts are gathered together and functioning in harmony, peace results. When we receive the gift of Christ, we hope in His return, we love because He first loved us, and we have joy from the assurance that He will never change. All these essential parts combine to form peace.

Paul knew that this peace had its root in the fact that Jesus made it possible for us to have peace with God. Through Him, we have received reconciliation!

Paul urged the early church to live out this peace by being unified with one another- woven together! “Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Just as God, the Master Weaver, wove us together strand by strand in the womb, now, He weaves us together with others who have been born again. If we have the same hope, if we share the same love, if we radiate the same joy, then surely, we will put one another first, resulting in peace on earth (as it is in heaven!).

Then, the words of the angels’ song will be fulfilled: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!”

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