"The question for us is, do we do the same? We want Jesus to make us feel warm and comfortable. Of course, to an extent, he does. Through him, we know that we’re forgiven, loved, and accepted by God, just as we are. But the love of God is a transforming love. By its very essence, it transforms us. In the Second Letter to the Corinthians, Paul, the apostle, says, “And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18). When we recognize the presence of God in Jesus Christ, when we receive and accept the love of God in Jesus Christ, we are transformed into the same image degree by degree. But no one said that this is a painless process! Becoming aware of those areas in ourselves, our lives, and our world that are ugly, and broken, and sick, and giving them to God to be transformed isn’t a comfortable and warm process. It’s easier to turn away, to kill the messenger rather than listen to the message. It’s easier to just stay the way we are and let the world stay the way it is. It’s easier to be like the crowds in Jerusalem, saying, “Crucify him! Crucify him! Crucify him! He asks too much of us. Leave us alone.”
But that isn’t God’s way. God’s way may be hard, but it’s the way that leads to life. It’s the way of the cross and the way of the resurrection. You can’t have the resurrection without the cross. Johann Christoph Arnold, a Christian counselor and writer, wrote a book about peace. Remember that, right before his arrest and crucifixion, during his Last Supper with his disciples in the Gospel According to John, Jesus told them, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” (Jn 14:27). But Jesus also made it clear that it was not the kind of peace that the world gives. He continued by saying, “I do not give to you as the world gives” (Jn 14:27). The peace that the world gives is a peace that avoids struggle and suffering, a peace that turns its back on harsh realities and, in doing so, allows them to continue. The peace that the world gives is a peace based on denial. It is tenuous and illusory. The peace of Jesus, though, is the peace of the cross and the resurrection. It is peace within and through struggle and suffering, peace within and through dealing with harsh realities. It is peace based on awareness. It is solid and real. Johann Cristoph Arnold attempts to describe this kind of peace by quoting a passage from an ancient Hindu text, the Bhagavad Gita, followed by a passage from the Letter to the Hebrews. First, the quote from the Bhagavad Gita:
"Even murderers and rapists . . . and the most cruel fanatics can know redemption through the power of love, if they but yield to its harsh but healing graces. Passing through excruciating transformations, they shall find freedom, and their hearts shall find peace within them."
And the quote from the Letter to the Hebrews:
"No hardship or discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for him who has been trained by it."
Arnold calls this process of transformation and the peace that follows it the "violence of love. True love, the love of God, doesn’t coddle and cajole us. It speaks the truth to us so that we can become the beings we were meant to be, beings made in the image of God. It speaks the truth so that we can change into the likeness of Christ degree by degree. "
FULL SERMON HERE
 Seeking Peace: Notes and Conversations Along the Way. Farmington, PA: The Plough Publishing House, 1998, 36-37.