order as peace

Written by  rabbi benjamin ehrenfeld

art-peaceFor Rav Shaul, “order” was a communal necessity. The gifted congregation in Corinth was instructed to conduct their meetings orderly (1 Cor 14:40). There is a very short phrase in Rav Shaul’s discourse on this matter that deserves particular intention:

God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” (1 Cor 14:33, NIV)

Order is a trait that brings peace to a community. Often, the gauntlet of order is thrown down to preserve control. That is not what Rav Shaul is getting at here. The purpose of his procedure of order was to encourage communication and expression with boundaries that preserve human dignity and cultivate peace. Rav Shaul knew that if people would go around interrupting one another, there would be strife. If this is true for a community, it is all the more so for each of us individually.

Our ability to cultivate order in our lives doesn’t prevent bad things from happening or grant us control over all of life’s circumstances (equanimity and patience guide us in such situations). What order does do is give us an efficient vessel to be the children of God we have been born and re-born to be. Order brings peace.

May we bring our minds, actions, and communities together in order. May we give everything the time and place it deserves, and not distract ourselves from the holiness of the moment and it’s immediate assignment. May this be a season of peace!

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