Pursue Peace - Reflections - 8-18-18

 From Psalm 34, appointed for this Sunday:


 Turn from evil and do good;   Seek peace and pursue it.  
V.14

That last phrase, “Seek and pursue peace” captured me this week. I’ve actually thought a lot about it but never sat down to write. Instead, I invite you to spend some time reflecting on that verse. A great starting point is simply to check out each of the words thesaurus and build sentences substituting the synonyms.

 With seek, there is “work toward”  “try for” and “request”. And, a very interesting piece of synonymial (yes, I made up that word) information: the primary synonym for “seek” is “pursue”. Pursue peace and pursue it. 

OK then!  The thesaurus offers two basic directions to go with the verb pursue:  follow and practice. So start there on reflecting how you follow peace and practice peace.  The word “follow” gets exciting pretty fast.  Think chase, the hunt… to track or trail or hound… or shadow. There is a bit of stalker in “pursue”… a bit of urgency even.  How do you follow peace?

Then there is the verb to practice. Try out some of these words with peace :  perform, apply, live out, do, rehearse, repeat, engage in, take up, carry out, work at. That right there is a lot to work with.

Then “peace”. First, I go right to the concept of shalom which is a wholeness. Chase down wholeness. The thesaurus again offers two directions.  One has to do with a “bringing together” sense. That is like ending war and hatred, or at least ceasefire. And like harmony, reconciliation, goodwill, accord.
The other is calm, tranquility, stillness, quiet.  But it is still shalom.

There. You can lay out your own reflection now. And when you either reach peace, or get tired of trying, remember that God offers the peace that passes understanding. 

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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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