Embody Peace

The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the decrees of the LORD are sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
the ordinances of the LORD are true
and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
But who can detect one’s own errors?
Clear me from hidden faults.
Keep back your servant also from the insolent;
do not let them have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless
and innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable to you,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:7–14 NRSV)

Many of us have been there in some form or fashion, especially those of us in leadership roles in the church. A firm fist hitting the table. An aggressive word of demand or accusation. The exchange of sharp remarks, then silence.

Everyone in the room knows one person has sinned against another, maybe even more than one. However, what happens next tells the actual story of the covenantal relationship between those present, and the most powerful sign of that covenant is the shift in the atmosphere of that room marking mutual repentance.

The words of the psalmist pierce my soul: “But who can detect one’s own errors? Clear me from hidden faults” (Psalm 19:12).

Part of the beauty of this season is the invitation to pause and say these words to our God as we stand in front of the mirror or sit across the table from a friend. Or maybe it’s riding silently in the car with the spouse after an argument.

May this Collect prayer serve you as powerfully as it is serving me as I seek to embody – in relationships with those we live life and ministry with – the kind of peace Christ invites us to:

Let your Spirit, O Lord, come into the midst of us to wash us with the pure water of repentance, and prepare us to be always a living sacrifice to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Stu Streeter is the VP of Ministry Advancement and Church Multiplication.