Now may the God of peace give you peace at all times and in every circumstance. God be with you all!
2 Thessalonians 3:16
|"Aesthetic Aphrodisiacs - Tribute to Geroge Barbier and Art Deco/Nouveau"|
by Jennifer Jigour @ http://jjigour.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/potion-serenaide.jpg
I love the phrase “God of peace.” It reminds me that the Sacred is not bitter or angry. Peace here is more than the absence of war and hostility. Such an understanding is really a definition of tolerance. Peace in both the Hebrew and Greek scriptures has always been more. It is about being whole and complete – the presence of well-being. Jennifer Jigour's painting gives expression to how sexaul peace - here two women sharing a tender moment - aids in completing our souls.
The scriptural citation is the opening line of a short prayer in which peace is petitioned from the God of peace. The writer of the letter was thinking in terms of a wellness that goes beyond our circumstances. In this prayer peace is not what happens outside of us, but rather, the harmony and balance we carry inside us even in the midst of external chaos.
In my college days I happened to be in Europe at the height of the hawkish years of the Reagan administration. One of the persons I encountered there was an active member of the European peace movement. She explained their philosophy: “You cannot have peace in the world until there is peace in your nation. You cannot have peace in your nation until there is peace in your city. You cannot have peace in your city until there is peace in your neighborhood. You cannot have peace in your neighborhood until there is peace in your family. You cannot have peace in your family until there is peace in you.”
As a spiritual person I would add, you cannot have peace in yourself until you are at peace with the Sacred. The well-being we carry in us, at its roots, is born out of the experience that all creation - even that which is created queer - rests in the bosom of the Ineffable.
Peace as well-being is something that tends to elude large number of queer persons. In the midst of societal turmoil and personal confusion the only thing we really know is chaos and its’ attending dislocation and dread. Peace can be as far from our experience as Pluto is from the sun.
The scriptures gently remind us that the God of peace is in the habit of granting peace. That while this peace does not remove us from the fray, it does supply well-being in the midst of the pandemonium. Shalom y'all!