The Peace of Christ 


And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight – if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister. (Colossians 1:18-23)


St Paul says that all the divisions which now plague humanity are overcome in Christ who reconciles all things in heaven and earth. Not only are humans brought together in Christ, but all creation is as well. Evangelism is not just for human ears, for all things are united to God in Christ. Peace for the world is found in Christ who unites us all. St John Chrysostom expresses it this way:

“On high the armies of the angels are giving praise.  Here below, in the Church, the human choir takes up after them the same doxology. . . . The festival of heaven’s citizens is united with that of the inhabitants of earth in a single thanksgiving, a single upsurge of happiness, a single chorus of joy.” (Worshiping with the Church Fathers, Kindle Location 1163-1166)


That at least is the ideal which the saints have garnered from the Gospel. But obviously, on earth that total concord and divine unity is not fully realized. People are still at war with other people, prejudice and politics still divide people. Russian Orthodox are killing Ukrainian Orthodox.  Patriarch Kirill continues to bless the attacking of civilian targets in Ukraine which Putin orders in revenge for attacks on Russian military forces involved in the invasion of Ukraine. The ideal which Christ represents is still only a hope. And those who bring culture wars and politics into the Church Body are denying the Lordship of Christ for they continue to pursue earthly and fleshly interests rather than to strive for the upward call in Christ Jesus. There is a profound truth in the cliché: Know Christ, know peace. No Christ, no peace.


Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. (Colossians 3:12-15)