[image: peaceful journey, 2013, JA Van Devender]
2 Co 5:17–19
18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
A score and three years ago, God, our Father, through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, brought forth on this planet, the Severn Run Evangelical Presbyterian Church. It was on the first Sunday of March, 1991 that we invited a bunch of strangers, to us and to each other, to come and worship with us at the Arundel High School Cafeteria which we had rented for the purpose. It was a scary, exciting and deeply moving experience for all of us who were called by God to kick start this ministry. A few of us are still around, most of those who attended that first day and stayed to begin the church have moved away (lots were military or government employees) and as a cause of sorrow for us who remain, many have departed to be with their Lord. Just this last year we lost a relatively young woman whose presence at that first service is indelibly implanted in my heart.
Nothing in my life compares with it and it is my greatest blessing to be given the privilege of watching God at work.... bringing peace.
Our motto is "Rest under the Tree" (Gen. 18:4) and the rest that is offered, in the shadow of the cross, is that of peace. Peace with God and peace with man. Where the deepest need man has, to cease striving and know that God is God, can and has been met with the thousands that have come through the door at one time or another. The second deepest need man has is to be reconciled with his brother and I have seen God do such things countless numbers of times, as racial divisions, marital strife, anger at their fellow human beings, tensions between young and old, injustice in treatment and even abuse, have provided the forum for the love of God and the healing ministry of the Holy Spirit to work.
This is the work of Christ... to bring peace on earth. His is the ministry of peace which is good news to those whose yoke is heavy and their burden is over-whelming.
Today I praise God, that in His providential ordering, our sermon passage is Matthew 5:9 - Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be callled the sons of God. Praise God, who brings peace through those whose lives reflect the work of reconciliation and bring that good news to others.
Praise God for what He has done among us. Peace, peace, God's peace... the only real peace that can be attained... and that which it is my high blessing and privilege to have seen Him provide.