Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Ps 85:10
When I was a sophomore in college, Peggy lived in an apartment several blocks from campus. One bitter cold winter night, while walking home from her apartment, I looked up into the clear night sky and became transfixed by some weird phenomena taking place. The sky appeared to be moving, actually, pulsing with some strange radiance. It stretched from horizon to horizon.
At first I thought some nuclear disaster had occurred. This may seem an odd conclusion, but I was a kid from Cleveland. In Northeast Ohio when the sky lights up like that your first thought is someone did something wrong. These lights were different. They paralyzed my movement and filled my soul with a sense of awe.
As I stood in a silence only snow and bitter cold can provide, peace descended upon me. A kind of peace I’ve always had a difficult time explaining. Then as strips of light started shooting across the sky, it finally dawned on me. I was watching the northern lights.
My body started shaking, but not from cold. A warmth flowed through me and an incredible wave of emotions brought tears to my eyes. It felt as though the fullness of the universe had descended upon Moorhead, MN and I was there to watch it.
A pastor friend from Pennsylvania, Claude Schach, used to tell me about his favorite Christmas Eve ritual. When he was done preaching the late service, Claude would drive up to the top of Hegins Valley and look down upon the lights below. He would sit there in silence to watch peace kiss the earth.
These words from Psalm 85 remind me that when the fullness of the universe visits the earth, it brings a kiss of peace. Too often, we only have fleeting experiences of this kind of peace. Yet, these encounters provide an enduring witness to the power of it and the hope it brings to all the souls of earth.
Click to read: Psalm 85: 9-14
Reflection Questions: When have you experienced the fullness of peace? How has it shaped your understanding of peace beyond that moment? Where do you most desire peace in your life? How does God speak to this desire?
Photo Courtesy of Unsplash.com and Joshua Earle