Dear Edgeboro Friends and Family,

A few weeks ago, I attended a Senior and Post-High Retreat at Camp Hope along with a few others from Edgeboro. It was my first time at Camp Hope, and let me just say that I was very impressed with the dozens of young leaders that attended. Our focus was on peace, more specifically Jesus’ words to the disciples in the upper room, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid” (John 14:27). One might wonder how we spent an entire weekend on one verse, but when it comes to peace, there’s a lot to unpack.

We talked about what we thought peace meant and we spent a long time discussing how to bring peace to our communities in hypothetical situations. By the end of the weekend, we were beginning to realize that peace can come in many shapes and sizes. To use the words of Fred Rogers (Yes, that Mr. Rogers), “Peace means far more than the opposite of war!”

We also realized that we all needed Christ’s peace in our lives in many different situations. Yes, Christ gives peace to the world, but he also gives peace to each of us in very personal ways if we are receptive to it. Christ gives us peace of mind to do our best at school or work, calmness of heart when we’re grieving a loss, purity of conscious to be able to forgive others, and more. Peace can exist in our daily lives. It’s not just something we wait for. Mr. Rogers nails it again when he says, “I have long believed that the way to know a spiritual sense is to know it in our real life. I think the best way to understand about God and peace is to know about peace in our everyday lives.”

I bring this up now because this is worth focusing on during Lent, which is just around the corner. By the time you read this, Lent will start in about a month (Ash Wednesday is March 1st). In my experience (as well as many others), Lent is a good time to check in with yourself and be intentionally mindful of how you’re living as a follower of Christ. About Christ’s peace, maybe you can ask yourself:

Do you feel Christ’s peace in the world? In your life? When do you feel Christ’s peace the most and how do you manifest it? Can others see it in you? How do you make it known to the world?  Do you need to make a change to do this?

Lent isn’t here yet, but this conversation about peace that started at the retreat reminded me that personal reflection can take a lot of energy, thought, prayer, and humility, and so maybe we should prepare ourselves for what lies ahead come March 1.

May the peace of Christ, which surpasses all understanding, be with you all.

Seeking with you,
Pastor Dan