A letter from Tracy: Knowing Peace
“He is our peace,” says Ephesians 2:14. God is not only our source of peace, but Jesus is our peace. To know Jesus is to know peace – the peace that surpasses all understanding. Through CSM, and as a minister of the Gospel, I desire to see our city be at peace. Our city’s political, racial, economic, and spiritual climate is so divided. We seem to all have our thing and invite God into it for our season instead of allowing God to lead us in his shalom. The Word says it is Jesus who brings us into oneness.
God has ordained three institutions here on earth: family, government, and the church. We are to seek the peace and prosperity of our city. The church in Birmingham has so far to go to achieve God’s peace. The journey toward peace is what CSM has engaged in for the last ten years, as we know that it is God’s church that will make the ultimate difference in our city. We must believe that peace or, as I prefer, ‘Shalom,’ is possible. We work at it daily when we work to build relationships with the pastors and their churches. Peacemaking is not a hopeless cause; it is worth every minute, every relationship, and dollar invested. The church in Birmingham is one church, made up of many believers, operating from the same playbook, the Bible. The church in Birmingham is to maintain the unity that the Word says we have when we are “in Christ.”
CSM’s role in peace is to help the church find ways to bring people together. We use our resources to connect people to people, pastors to pastors, and leaders to leaders with divine work to be done together.
Together we come to serve people in challenging situations to meet their needs, repair homeowners’ homes, build strong relational partnerships, and bring peace. All this only happens when we come together and work as One. This summer, we hope to gather more churches together, serving in oneness to see the display of oneness and peace in our city. The World Games are coming to Birmingham in July, and I believe the opportunities coming with them could be transformative for our city and the church.
We understand peace through a relationship with God and Christ. Christ is shalom, and as believers, we are the shalom the world sees because of our relationship with him. We are to maintain the peace in us, working through us as we abide in Christ.
My prayer for this summer is that we all seek peace no matter what happens with the economy, our family, our neighborhood, or our city. When we see violence, war, and destruction, we abide with God in our innermost being. To experience peace is to be touched by God. To know peace is to know God, love God, walk with God, and share God with the whole world. Do you know and walk with the God of peace?
Previous letters on peace: