Samuel did what the LORD said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?” Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.”
1 Samuel 16:4,5
Messengers of Peace
I used to have an office across the hall from a preschool. More than once, I overheard a parent at pick-up time say to their child, “You better behave, or you’ll have to go to the pastor’s office.” I cringed whenever I heard that. First, I didn’t personally want to get involved about how a preschooler should hang her coat up on the hook. But more importantly, I didn’t want that little preschooler to view the pastor as only a disciplinarian. “If you misbehave, you have to go see the pastor.”
It’s sad how Satan works, isn’t it? While it is true that sometimes God uses his church and its leaders to confront sin, the primary purpose of his church is to proclaim the good news that Jesus paid the price for their sins. The primary purpose of the Lord’s church is to echo what the angelic messengers proclaimed just a few weeks ago at Christmas, namely, “Peace.” And yet, Satan would have us see God’s messengers as anything but messengers of peace. We may stay away from worship where God’s messengers share God’s message. And the result? We are robbed of the very thing that brings us lasting peace.
Don’t listen to Satan’s lies. The next time that you drive past that place of worship and your guilt prevents you from going in, hear what the Lord decrees, “I have been sacrificed for your sins.” The next time you wonder if Jesus came for you, know that he did. Through Jesus, you have peace with God.
Lord, let the peace of your forgiveness overcome my guilt. Amen.