Fruit of the Spirit
Colleen and Corey Gilchrist
May 8, 2022
Colleen: Prayed a blessing over all the mothers: Thank you, God for all mothers.
I have nothing to offer of peace of my own; Jesus, we want your living peace that roots us that we are enough and loved.
I am honored and frightened to be speaking to you about peace: we are having the imposter syndrome because we both don’t have this. We are honored and excited to engage in peace. Here is my daughter’s painting from last week. The blue painting is the background
The Fruit of the Spirit comes in one bunch from the Holy Spirit; our job is to abide in him. Peace is “Eyrene.” We have an Irene in our family who embodies peace: Calm and steady. It also means Shalom: a deep sense that all in the world
is as it should be. We are connected to the source of God and stable in that place. As I think about this, it reminds me of Eph 6 Armor of God: we are not chasing after our agenda but we are chasing after God’s shalom, God’s agenda breaking through here on earth. This is not for chaos or disorder but for flourishing. Fear makes our thoughts jumbled and fills us full of “shoulds;” God’s voice is inviting us away from disorder. God is ultimately bringing his Shalom here on earth: it has come and is coming and will come. We are Easter people: we are proclaiming places that God’s peace is breaking in.
I had a lot of what I thought were great ideas for this sermon…. but then I was listening to podcasts this morning. I did a 5-4-3-2-1: I felt like God is delighting over me. I will read it now and at the end.
The Creed of the Beloved:
I’m not what I do.
I’m not what I have.
I’m not what people say about me.
I am the beloved of God. It’s who I am. No one can take it from me.
I don’t have to worry.
I don’t have to hurry.
I can trust my friend Jesus and share his love with the world.
Three places that peace can inhabit:
You have the peace of God in every situation of your life.
I what I do, what I have, what others are thinking…it comes at us on all sides. We have
I was reading about fear and anxiety: we tend to say I’m anxious. We need to name our fear. Last night, we had to say We’re afraid to talk about peace because we don’t have it. It’s powerful to name it out loud.
I was blown away to learn this week that we are supposed to live in parasympathetic nervous system, not the sympathetic system (flight or fight).
What is Peace with God
We will dive into one Bible story.
Corey: The ark of the Bible narrative starts with Adam and Eve in the garden and the rest is us out of the garden. But Isaiah says “
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We are not in the garden. God doesn’t see us this way, though, because of the resurrection. All our sin has been laid on him. God is tender and wants us to repent we do; he delights in us and says he’s so glad we’re here. He doesn’t have contempt for us. As a dad, I don’t desire to have any contempt but then I hear a whine and I realize I’m not. We have a merciful, kind, loving God.
Rom 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
When we must prepare a sermon and think through a topic, we asked how we could schedule our time to maximize peace. Once we confess our fears, God opens a window and lets peace in. This was a sharp metaphor and reality that this is how we seek peace: not through our own ways but by opening our hands and asking for it. The world offers a different peace: finances, health, things that fall away. We have true peace because we are forgiven. Colleen sprung a new sermon on me after her run this morning. But I know whatever I’m doing, my ID is in Christ, and this is where peace comes from.
Eph 2:5-6 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
Parable of the lost son: Luke 15: 11-20
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So, he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
This is the extravagant love of the father: We conjure up plans in our own minds and deem ourselves unworthy. But this doesn’t matter: God lowers his dignity to chase after him. This is not appropriate in this culture. It’s not dignified. This story is saying that God comes to you: there is no striving or getting it right. There is no shame in who you are: You are loved. Embrace his love, repentance, and come home. God holds you by the face and says, “you’re here.”
Corey: I’m a backpacker. For 3 years, I’ve used this to restore my mental health. I want to go into the wilderness and come back to my family as a refreshed man. But I’ve been trying to create this. Two weeks ago, I was in NM in a slot canyon that leads to a little creek. As I was hiking in, I felt God telling me to go or step or do what I want. I encountered a bear: I could be attacked by this bear: I did think that whatever happens, I’m Ok because I had God’s peace. I was able to be Corey with no expectations or demands or shame or performance on me. I could come back without a growth experience but that of being seen by God. Peace may not feel real, but it is real.
Colleen: I want to read these verses over you:
Phil 4:7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Psalm 4:8 In peace I will lie down and sleep for you alone Lord, make me dwell in safety.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Col 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
I Thes 5:23,24 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Isa 26:23 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
Colleen: Col and I This: God gives us peace and Jesus gives us the mind of Christ where peace rules instead of chaos or fear.
Luke 15:20-24 How the younger brother embraces peace: So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So, they began to celebrate. Luke 16
What I love about this is that nothing changed about the younger brother: the father brought peace and blessing. The younger brother still smelled of a pigsty, yet he is going to a feast and participating in it. No matter how shalom has NOT burst forth, there are so many ways we don’t have peace. There is a war in Ukraine right now and Jesus somehow invites us to go to the feast to truly celebrate.
The birth of my children:
Their birth stories are very similar: both were born at 36 weeks, but I had very different experiences: While I was in labor with Kate, I was afraid, and I screamed. I was scared the whole way. I had suffering and had pain because I was afraid. Kate’s means pure grace.
With Isaac’s birth, I prayed and did everything I could to make it to 40 weeks. However, I surrendered to labor at 36 weeks: It wasn’t what I wanted but I embraced it. It was so peaceful; the nurses didn’t believe I was in labor and instead were confused. Shalom means shalom: I wanted to name Isaac this! I tasted it at his birth. I didn’t be afraid, but I had peace. It wasn’t what I wanted but Jesus was there with me.
Peace with Others.
II Cor 13:11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with
Eph 2:14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,
Before Jesus came, the Gentiles and Israelites were separate but through Jesus they were unified. This is the invitation through Jesus: To be unified with people who believe differently. Sit with them! I don’t understand critical race theory yet I’m willing to sit with people who do and listen to them.
Luke 15:25-30 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So, his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
This is an invitation into unity: I am often the older brother. Fairness is a big deal: We get to be for each and unified. Will you enter the party and taste the peace, or will you stay in the negative narratives? We all live in the real world: What a vulnerable place to experience peace because there is still tension there. Notice how the father continues to say, “this brother of yours” and not “son of mine.” He was allowing God to unify them.
Corey: I am trusting that God will give us peace with others. I want to be seen and known with my earthly father yet there are tensions. I long to give this to my own children yet I fail.
Matt 3:17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Notice that it doesn’t say “pretty good job;” it’s who Jesus is. He says this about us. Having a relationship divided in my life is closing. My heavenly father is gentle and has everything I long for. Because of this, I’m able to have peace with my father and wife and children and friends. I don’t have to demand love from others because I get this from God. We have our ID in God because he gives us peace; it all overlaps.
Homework: Creed of the Beloved: Say this every day. No fear of shame or loss of control. Control is a drug, and we all are addicted but we don’t have it.