Do you remember the scene in the original “Grinch Who Stole Christmas” when the Grinch’s heart grew, after he observed the sweet spirit of the Whos, even after he tried to steal their Christmas? Boris Karloff’s voice booming… “In Whoville they say, the Grinch’s heart grew 3 sizes that day!” will forever be etched in my memory. That’s my favorite part!! When I was a child (back in the days when you could only watch it once a year) it was THIS scene that always caused MY heart to swell too.

While I do not have time for a full-fledged blog, my mind this week has gone to a quote I discovered recently on a tombstone of a famous Chicagoan and (ironically) former Governor of Illinois:

I am not discouraged. Things will right themselves. The pendulum swings one way and then another, but the steady pull of gravitation is toward the center of the earth. Any structure must be plumb if it is to endure. So it is with nations: Wrong may seem to triumph, right may seem to be defeated. But the gravitation of Eternal Justice is toward the throne of God. Any political institution which is to endure must be plumb with that line of justice.

Violence is a hot topic in our world. From bullying, to domestic violence, to police brutality, all the way up to terrorism and war; violence fills our homes, our schools, our cities, our nations and our daily news. It is impossible to get away from it. Speaking for myself, however, I sometimes get taken by surprise – as though violence is a new thing in human societies. Today’s readings in Mark 15, reminded me that violence is as old as the hills. It started with Cain (and his murderous seed) and will continue until the Prince of Peace comes to set things right.

If you could think of one intangible thing that you could give to another person as a lasting heritage, what would it be? Joy? Love? Patience? As I contemplated the ending verses of Numbers 6 today, I began to see the relevance of Peace as a lasting blessing. When we consider the condition of the world, our own nations, and perhaps even our own personal lives – wouldn’t a permanent dose of peace be a welcome commodity? I’d like to discuss the simplicity of using cross-references to explore Bible passages as we launch into this peaceful study.

The Apostle Paul was a man that had it all figured out. In a world where many are struggling to find meaning and peace, we would do well to listen to this wise and experienced man’s advice. Like the Lord Jesus, Paul “learned obedience from the things which he suffered.” Hebrews 5:8 We cannot dismiss him, by thinking he did not understand how hard life can be. If there’s any doubt of this you might want to remind yourself of his incredible list of life experiences to know he was a victor.