Dear Church family,
I have shared this story with you before but, as we look toward this Sunday’s worship where we will focus on the spiritual fruit of peace AND face the upcoming presidential election, it is this story that keeps coming back to me. It is about one of my favorite artists: a Chinese painter named He Qi. He draws colorful scenes of his native China but, what he loves to paint most, are scenes from the Bible. We have several of his prints in our home and I’ve included one of them here for you to see.

The Risen Lord, He Qi
I heard He Qi talk awhile back and he shared the story of his life. As a young man he was living through the Communist Revolution and everything around him was chaos. He knew he didn’t want to work in the fields so he began to learn the trade of painting. One day his teacher showed him a Renaissance painting of the Madonna and Child. When he looked at that painting he didn’t know who the woman was or even who the child on her lap was. He just knew they had a peace in their eyes that he did not have but that he desperately wanted.

He began seeking out who these figures were and how it was they could have such peace. Over time and through much prayer and study, he began to feel that same peace he saw in the painting and he became a Christian. Now, his most important goal when he paints is that his figures have peace in their eyes. He wants it because that peace saved his life once when he looked upon it and he hopes it can save someone else’s too.

Though we do not live in a time of government and cultural revolution, we are certainly living through something that has unsettled most of us and none of us can be certain where it is all leading. We are surrounded by that chaos and many of us couple that chaos with concerns about our own families and friendships. It can be overwhelming. What we need is peace. As we are promised in Philippians chapter 4, God’s peace is one that “passes all understanding”. It will see us through all chaos, it will not fade, and it can change our life.

Let’s pray: Jesus, we need you. We are surrounded by voices which seek to trick or lie or frighten. Instead, help us hear your voice so that we may know the peace you have to give and so others would see it in our eyes. We ask in your name. Amen.

Christ’s peace be with you all today,