And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:21
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. Colossians 3:15
This Summer, my younger daughter is living with my older daughter (and her husband and their dog) while she does an internship for her major. This last weekend, I had the privilege of visiting them for the first time since that arrangement started. So far, nobody has killed anyone. I am happy about that.
The truth is, my girls get along really well with each other. They give each other a hard time, but they are also clearly best friends. And when they fight, they fight fair. That’s important. That brings an amazing amount of peace to a parent. I am pretty sure I would never have understood that peace until I became a parent.
There is an aspect of God’s perspective on our love for each other that is “parental” in nature. Paul references it in Colossians 3 when he admonishes that church to “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts”. I do not read Aramaic, nor Greek. But I am told that Paul actually wrote peace of Christ in Latin (Pax Christi), so as to make it a play on words for that culture. You see, the nickname for the Roman occupation under which those churches operated was the Pax Romana (“Peace of Rome”). It referred to a kind of imposed peace which Rome enforced in all of its territories. It was an understood connotation of Pax Romana: you and your neighbor are both now part of the Roman Empire…if you have a problem with your neighbor, you have a problem with Rome. Paul …