If I was to summarize 2020 in a word, it would be “disruption.”
Life as we know it has been disrupted this year -- from a global pandemic that has ripped apart the stable cores of our daily rhythms and sense of normality to the violence, death, and systemic racism that has inundated us virally on repeat. Nothing is as it should be, and this dystopia we now find ourselves in has laid bare the ways in which our world is left wanting.
There is no peace -- with God, with our own self, and with one another.
My body feels this viscerally. It’s that ache in the soul that throbs throughout each day, reminding me things are not ok. It’s the lethargy and sleepless nights and dark thoughts and heavy emotions that refuse to lift from the heart and the head because I am hurting and my community is hurting.
But peace is not lost.
Though the dark night of this year may yet linger for much longer than we hope, there is still light to be found. Though racism and sickness and death continue to exact their sting, the possibility of peace, resistance, and joy remains. There is a way to stand for love, for flourishing, and peacemaking in 2020, and that is through, and only through, Jesus.
At Pax, we believe that Jesus can lead us into true and lasting peace. He is our stabilizing force in the midst of disruption, and the only way forward is by clinging to him wholly. In this inaugural issue, we consider the ways that Jesus leads us to peace - peace with God, with our self, and with one another - and we invite you to journey with us. Our aim is not to offer fast facts and quick solutions to change your life in three easy steps. That’s not realistic (or healthy, for that matter). Rather, we’ve invested in the slow movement of peace. Through a four-part discipleship pathway, we take time to look at the biblical vision of cosmic peace, the lies that disrupt peace in every aspect of our lives, the path of healing and non-violence and, finally, fresh approaches to spiritual practices to live out our calling as everyday peacemakers.
I am excited for all the diverse voices and participants in this first StoryArc. There are words, sounds, and visuals from seven creatives and over thirty writers, most of whom are people of color, and many of the voices are Gen Z. We want Christians of color and the next generation to lead the conversation on peace. There is much that we can (and should) learn from them.
My encouragement to each of you as you journey through this experience is to take your time. Read slowly. Digest one article or one creative piece in a single sitting. Reflect on it throughout your day and then move onto the next curated piece when you’re ready. Many of the elements are crafted for communal engagement as well, and I invite you to share this content with your friends. Listen to the audio interviews together and discuss the reflection questions afterward. Consider how you can journey through the spiritual practices together as well.
Peace has been disrupted, but Jesus is inviting us to journey with him back to true Pax, and that’s a journey we can embark on together.