The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Standing in God's peace

A winter walk reminds me of the sureness of love, beyond feelings

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

During a recent nighttime snowfall, I decided to take a walk. As I moved through the darkness, I became more and more aware of the quiet, the certain stillness that settles in when snow falls.

I made my way down the narrow street by our neighborhood park and paused to look up at one of the street lamps. I could actually make out the intricate, individual shapes of the large flakes as they drifted across the light. I watched them floating down, landing one on top of the other and quietly blanketing the ground. I glanced over to the open field, now covered in snow, and noticed how light it had become. And a sense of peacefulness came over me.

I stayed in that spot for several moments, enjoying the sensation—solitude, stillness, reflected snow light. Peace. And the feeling remained for some time as I continued my walk, though I couldn’t hold onto it.

But the peace was renewing and wonderful while I stood in it.

Looking back on that evening, I see that in the same way the snowflakes piled up quietly to form a single covering, we are called to form a single community of believers—the family of God, the church—so to be one with Christ.

Yet at the same time each of us is as unique and individual as the snowflakes. Christ holds each of us to the light, revealing our strengths and our weaknesses, loving us and covering us with the peace of his love and forgiveness.

As was true for me as I walked home that snowy night, we may not be able to keep the feeling of this peace. Still, we know that beyond our feeling and surpassing our understanding, it is God’s peace that guards our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.


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February issue


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