“The “Bond of Peace” print symbolizes the encouragement given by Paul to the Ephesian church: “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Before we can see peace in our world, let us see peace among our brothers and sisters. This bond that is represented in this image is strong and sturdy, and it cannot be broken unless we let go of each other. With unity through the Spirit, driven by our love and desire for peace, we can be the church God desires.” Luke Elijah Wagner
Two Sundays ago I gathered with Denver Church, a local church that meets in a house here in Tulsa. Luke Wagner, one of the guys a part of Denver, an ORU student, and who also happens to be an inspiring artist, recently created a piece that he shared with us. Above is his description for the piece. As he shared with us the purpose and inspiration behind the piece I began to feel that this was a message that I needed to hear, and that it is a message the church at large needs to hear. Peace…It’s not something we see or experience much of in the world, let alone in the Church. How many of us have experienced this lack of peace? A lot of us have been hurt by the church, whether by someone in leadership or someone else in the church. As someone who has been deeply hurt by the church myself I have experienced this lack of peace very vividly. And If I’m being honest sometimes I have very little hope for the church. Doubts swirl around in my head. This is only perpetuated by the many others I know personally who have been hurt by the church. We may have had violence done to us, but too often our desire is corrupted and we seek to repay with further turmoil. All of this combined leads us down a path further away from “The Bond Of Peace.”
Are we Hopeless? Can we live according to the “Bond of Peace?” And why haven’t we? This post isn’t about answering all of these questions, and neither do I know if that is even possible. But I trust that God in God’s very being, essence, and nature is Love. If I had to briefly attempt an answer to this question my current answers would be the following:

  1. We’re not Hopeless
  2. Yes
  3. Because God’s very nature is uncontrolling, and as creatures with limited but true freedom we don’t always cooperate in God’s divine nature. Sometimes we reject peace, thus rejecting God.

I think God’s influence has been calling us to this “Bond of Peace” since before the beginning of creation, and is continuing to do so now. I think a lot of us, even those of us hurt by the church, realize that retaliation doesn’t work. Maybe its time to try God’s way. Maybe its time for us to cooperate with God’s influence and be transformed in the process. To become a people of Peace. To place Love above our differences. Not to ignore our differences but like the three person nature of the Trinity to live in unity even in diversity. The church as we know is dying. And maybe its dying because hate, and disunity is inherently self-destructive. Peace being rooted in the eternal nature of God cannot die or cease to exist. Much of the world looks to us and does not see Jesus. Its a sad reality but one that Jesus I think warned us of. “The world will know you are my disciples if you have love for one another.” So with no peace among our brothers and sisters, which can only happen through Love, the world won’t see Jesus in us.
Luke is selling copies of this piece, if this is something you’re interested in buying please contact him.
You can reach Luke either by Facebook: Message Luke Elijah Wagner.
You can also reach him on Instagram at @leswag_97
Or you can email him at lukewagner@oru.edu
If you’d like to hear more from Luke he blogs at: