“Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you.” – Luke 10:5-6 (NRSV)
When Jesus sends his disciples out into towns, spreading the good news two by two, he warns them that they will be like lambs in the midst of wolves. He says: there will be predators. There will be people who don’t want you there. There will be powers conspiring against the work to which you are called.
Jesus then instructs them to leave behind everything except God’s peace: a peace that requires accountability, calls out corruption, and unveils hypocrisy and evil.
When the disciples go and start knocking on doors, sometimes the door is opened by people who also know God’s peace. These are people who have witnessed the corruption and hypocrisy and evil in their town. Who have been told they are not good enough, not wealthy enough, not able enough. Who are committed to undoing the very powers designed to devour them.
I imagine the disciples standing at the threshold, peering into a stranger’s face, and recognizing their shared hopes and longings for the world. I imagine them exclaiming with relief, “Thank God! We have found our people.”
Before we can confront the wolves, before we can redistribute power and right the wrongs, we need to find our people. We need one another, to feed and be fed, to listen and be heard, to stay awhile in each other’s company. It is then, with peacemakers and peace seekers flocking together, that the sacred work of healing begins.
Shepherd God, lead us to your people, lead us to the places where peace dwells.