Whakatupu - Cultivate - Peace

Be Not Afraid

Image: Scott Erickson

'Peace' by Edge Kingsland

When the wolf’s at the door
Peace be with you He said
There’s a light up ahead
Peace be with you He said
When your heart’s on your sleeve
When you’re all out of fight
You’ll be safe in My sight
Peace be with you He said

Alexander Shaia in his book ‘Heart and Mind: The Four Gospel Journey for Radical Transformation’, suggests that the gospels were written to the early Christian communities to propose the story of Jesus as good news that directly spoke to their immediate cultural environment and spiritual climate. He submits that they were designed to be read as a ‘sacred quadratos’, a four season guide through the luminous pathway of transformation, similar to the natural seasons of nature that guide the course of creation.

The gospel of Mark, specifically,  is credited as a guide to move us through trials and suffering and to help us cope with abandonment, fear and the possibility of death. In the fourth chapter of Mark we encounter the story of the disciples in a boat with Jesus caught up in a furious squall on their way across a lake. The author juxtaposes the external inclemency with the internal journey of finding peace in the midst of fearful circumstance.

Jesus, our Prince of peace is asleep in the boat, his head resting on a cushion. The sleeping giant of peace resides within us all awaiting her moment of awakening. The cushion is our metaphor for the comfort, security and reassurance that peace is for us in any given circumstance. Peace is the voice of reason, an-other reasonable expression of probability that presents us with an alternative point of reference, an internal reassurance of the eternal rest in our boat, so to speak.

Peace is not the absence of turmoil or trouble but the potential calm that emerges to momentarily overwhelm our sensibilities. The fear or catastrophising of our soul awakens and catalyses the voice of peace in us, it is the ‘be not afraid’ mantra that echo's a divine support and intervention. When this Christ mystery stands up in us it takes centre stage, distracting us momentarily, interjecting with an atmospheric transfiguration.

Stillness, hush and a moment of tranquility recalibrate our consciousness, temporarily vaporizing the storms and inclement circumstances. Peace transports us to the other side with instantaneous ease, shifting time and space with consummate dexterity. 

Peace is our pathway and guide, that internal confidence and courage that arises when she is needed, that God-like spiritual force that helps us face the storms of life. Peace doesn’t try to deny the reality of our current experience, but merely suggests a new reality and invites us into its romantic idealism.It is other-worldly and utterly mysterious, an unrealised greatness in our soul that when aroused will cause us to be amazed and perplexed, injected with a faith and reverential fear of new proportions.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  John 14:27


Clint Gibson