A boy of about 13 or 14 was walking in the forest of redwoods north of San Francisco. It was near the place where the Ewoks would be filmed in a later Star Wars movie, and also near where Caesar and his allies would escape to in the Planet of the Apes movies from the 2000’s. It was not the kind of a place that a kid from South Dakota would usually be able to walk. The trees were majestic. The air was cool and fresh. It was a place of peace and awe and wonder. 
There was an adult on the same walk. With most people, it would have been a pleasant time. But his words intruded into that place with his anger, his criticism, and his harshness. It doesn’t really matter what he said to the boy. Maybe the boy wasn’t walking fast enough. Maybe the boy had stopped to examine some interesting plant. Maybe the boy expressed some unapproved opinion. Maybe the boy dared to say something positive about the God who had created these trees. Whatever the particular words were to the boy, there was nothing in them of the majesty, peace, and wonder of the place. 
Anger and impatience divides people from each other. Bellowing at people who disagree with you is going to leave you only with people who think like you do. In a world of harsh words, people get lonelier. 
Those redwoods were designed and formed by a Creator who is even more majestic. The peace in that small sample of creation really comes from the peace of God. The anger and the harshness were intruders that were very out of place in the woods, and the intrusion is even more stark when it comes to the things of God.
There is an awe and wonder that’s greater than the forest. There is one God who is real, who designed and pieced together this universe, and who cares about each one of us. 
There is awe and wonder to the reality that the divine Son of God entered into the worst and the best of this world, to seek and to save those who were lost from God, and even to give His life to establish peace between us and God. 
There is awe and wonder to the reality that Christ rose back to life, not for Himself, but in order to lead us back to life that continues without end. 
There is peace that comes from knowing that sometimes you’re wrong, and God lovingly and safely shows you what is right. There is peace that comes from knowing that you are forgiven completely, which frees you to forgive others. There is peace that comes from knowing that the Almighty God does not hate you, does not want to destroy you, because that’s all been settled at the cross of Christ.
Walk in the redwoods, and everywhere, in the peace of God. 


Pastor Ken Hart
Faith Lutheran Church