It seems to me, at this time especially, when people are in turmoil as to what is going on around them, not only do people need the gift of peace that Jesus promised to his disciples but they need to live in peace, as far as is possible, with those around them and to do what the Bible teaches when it comes to the Church (true followers of Jesus from every background). It has become evident that all too often that does not happen, and the sort of behavior we are seeing is as much about there being a lack of peace. Maybe we are not the ones at fault, but invariably there are things we can do to help.
A long time ago, I was in a Christian gathering and was introduced to the song “Make me a Channel of Your Peace” (see here for a rendition by Susan Boyle) and its origins for the very first time. Around that time Margaret Thatcher made a speech (in 1979), as she was about to enter into 10 Downing Street as Prime Minister for the first time (see here). She quoted from the Prayer of St. Francis (see above and in full). Some, including me, felt there was irony in her choice of words gven her legacy has been widely perceived as one of causing discord and strife, yet I have little doubt following a bruising campaign she felt there was a need to bring about peace.
It would be very easy now to embark on a sermon along the lines of what we can do to bring about peace, but I will refrain. Suffice to say the challenge is as much to me as my readers, especially in the light of what I have seen when I enter what is often the toxic arena of social media and observing the lack of peace in ongoing situations around me. We are told “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” Hebrews 12:14 and “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” Matthew 5:9, and of course the Prayer of St. Francis, which all seem to me as a good a place as any from which we could begin.