After the Lord’s Prayer there is the invitation to the ‘Pax’ - the peace. You will notice that in the previous translation, the one that we have been using until now, a line had been omitted… “in accordance with your will”. What we ask for in accordance with the Lord’s will is: ‘peace and unity’. Apart from it being odd that we should miss out a phrase, why is it important?
There is always a danger with us human beings that we think that we are in charge and that the world revolves around us and that if we think hard enough, tinker enough, shout loud enough, then we will be able to do exactly what we like. The world does revolve around us, because we are the pinnacle of creation. We must think hard, because God made us as thinking creatures. And we should shout out against injustice and oppression. But even if we do all of these things, then there are simply some things which are beyond our control. The two things which the liturgy tells us about are ‘peace and unity’.
Peace may be the peace between nations, families, individuals or the soul and God. We work towards it but it is not the result of our efforts. It all comes down to the individual soul turning to God and to good, and through the action and work of the Holy Spirit, peace is forged, in accordance with His will. And ‘unity’? Well we think of the unity of Christians (not, you will remember the unity of the Church, for the Church is united, it is simply that people are not united with her). Again this is not in our gift. We can get together and pray, and work, and God forbid, set up working parties and sub committees, but we cannot bring this unity about. This is the work of the Holy Spirit, not us.
Our obligation in these matters, is not to do, think, or say anything that would stand in the way of peace and unity. We should not be a barrier to unity and peace. God then works within it, but it is not a result of our efforts, it is in accordance with His will.
So do not get dejected with the lack of peace in the world, in the family, in the individual heart, or the lack of unity among those who call themselves Christian, for it is God’s work, not ours. We must collaborate with Him, not run the show ourselves.
We must turn our hearts to Him and act in accordance with His will, for true peace and unity to come to the earth.