Romans 12:18 - War and Peace
I made this bookmark this week. The embroidery design is done with a whipped back stitch on the stem and leaves. The motif comes from the book in the picture, which is my copy of War and Peace, the motif being grain representing peace. The book is accented in a lovely purple color, one I don't tend to use a lot in my sewing or embroidery.
There are plenty of available avenues of allusions for this small work. I could go the grain route, the harvest route, or perhaps something about reading. However, right now, I think the best option is concerning peace.
"If possible, so far as it depends on you, live in peace [shalom] with all people." (Romans 12:18 TLV)
This chapter of Romans gives a framework for how we should be living as Christians, based off of the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus. Apostle Paul teaches here about being humble and recognizing our place in the body of Christ. Paul explains how we shouldn't think ourselves above others or have an inflated ego (v. 3), but rather as parts of the congregation that use the gifts He gave us in different, but worthy, ways (v. 6-8).
Paul then brings up characteristics that we should embody. Loving, honorable, and zealous, that we should uphold the Word of God and keep our way in His will (v. 9-13). The chapter continues to explain that we should strive for peace with others, helping each other to live better as part of our love.
I chose this chapter for its message of peace, which is what the grain represents. In wartime, the workers of the field are instead soldiers, meaning no harvest for the people. If we want a harvest in the kingdom, we must be at peace with each other, all working towards the common goal of the spreading of the Gospel and the message of salvation through Jesus.
Anyone who has read War and Peace or seen an adaptation of it may notice something here. Tolstoy, known for mixing fiction and philosophy, explores the idea of living a righteous life through one of the main characters of the book. This character is good in heart, but hasn't been trained in the way to use his power and influence for the good of the Kingdom, so instead tries multiple different avenues that are all based on man's wisdom and topical customs. Reading this chapter of Romans, we can see the solution to the character's dilemma.
Through the application of the word of God in our lives, which Apostle Paul sums up in this chapter from multiple parts of the Bible, we can achieve peace in our lives and in our hearts. God provides us with principles that can turn any war or confusing conflict in a time of righteous peace.