Mother Teresa said, ” We have no peace because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
Christmas time we sing: “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me”
We live in a world where evil, chaos, suspicion and fear surrounds us. On one hand, how can JOY find its way into our world? On the other hand, if each of us truly let peace begin with each of us what JOY’s would await us? We would first have to make peace with those who have hurt us in small and big ways. To make peace there would have to be forgiveness. Peace makes way for relationship building and a sense of oneness with God. Jesus the prince of peace met with a lot of push back. He refered the worlds people as God’s Children and let it be known that some were lost and needed to be found. (the parable of the lost sheep) and others had left and needed to find their own way back. (the parable of the prodigal son). Undeserved, in both cases they found Love, forgiveness, belonging and joy.
The four weeks of advent each focus on one attribute of grace. Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. We are in week three JOY. I have been thinking on peace this past week . What I have come to realize is that Hope and Peace are never fully realized without Love and when one knows Love, REAL LOVE, JOY is experienced. If peace is the missing ingredient of true belonging, one must open their heart to the source of Love.
Jesus left eternity and entered time to show us the God kind of love that feeds our hunger and thirst for hope and peace. Those who truly find it are moved to action. They are transformed away from self and motived to treat everyone as belonging together with God. When eyes are opened to the truth that surrounds us: The social barriers of race and ethnicity, the disparity of rich and poor, the sick and healthy, the oppressed and the oppressor, the segregation and brokeness. It becomes clear salvation is needed. This motives men and women to act in deed and in truth. They do this by putting themselves in harm’s way caring for Ebola patients or offering themselves as relief workers in the danger zones of war or those who chose to give up the luxury’s of life to care for foster children or adopting or becoming a legal guardian or those who visit the sick, help the poor, cloth the naked, visit the prisoner, protest social injustice, And care for the earth. They do so whether they know it or not because they sense a belonging to each other and God. These kinds of actions inspire hope and peace, opening the door for love and JOY!
THEREFORE: Advent is a season of expectation! In hope, through faith, love divine, Emmanuel whispers; peace is coming!
We remember, the Christmas drama: an unplanned pregnancy, an imperial summons to Bethlehem, nowhere but a stable to give birth….
Yet… in the midst of these challenges…. a promise comes into view and is greeted with: singing angels, praise-filled shepherds, and gift giving wise men.
Peace is coming!
The Prophets longed for messiah’s arrives. Not quit as expected…
Still…. the refrain has entered human history………peace is coming!
It comes in sermons…. it comes in healings….. it comes in emancipation great and small………… Peace is coming!
It was purchased with Christ’s life……. it suffered…died….was buried with him ….then resurrected………..Peace is coming!
It is imparted to all who believe……..Peace is coming!
But when it comes to you……it must also flow from you…..for in it… is life!
For the lonely, the anxious, the fearful, the troubled, the broken…..peace is coming
All who are Children of God….are Emmanuel….God….among us….God breaking though!
……..Peace is coming!
This advent season, I exhort you to look beyond wars, personal and public, beyond anxieties…. beyond the uncertainties that surround us……..And raise your voice……. this advent season…in hope….through faith…..let divine love…..announce again with singing angels…. praise filled shepherds…… and gift giving wise men!
Peace is coming!
Each person who lives into their belonging promotes Love and Justice and declares peace is coming! This brings JOY TO THEIR WORLD.