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.





This week Phoenix Affirmation 2: Listening for God’s Word which comes through daily prayer and meditation, through studying the ancient testimonies which we call Scripture, and through attending to God’s present activity in the world;  I invite you to look up these two bible verses: 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Corinthians 13:12

heart-hands-2When it was time to begin his public ministry, Jesus went into the local synagogue and went forward to read from the Talmud (the Old Testament) .  He opened the scroll and ready from book of Isaiah 35: 4-6:

“Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not,   Behold, your God will come with vengeance; The recompense of God will come, But He will save you. Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute will shout for joy. For waters will break forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.”

Jesus went on to show us what can happen when Love is allowed to show itself in its fullness.  Not only were the eyes and ears of the infirmed opened in the physical sense, but eyes and ears are opened in the Spiritual sense transforming lives to this very day.    My personal history has been filled with joys, wonders and overcoming as well as sorrow, pain and struggle.  Over the years I have grown Keenly aware of my interdependent relationship with God and others.  With my spiritual eyes and ears open I can say with confidence, “All things work together for the good, for those who love God and who are called according to His [the Divine] purpose.” (Romans 8:28) My relationship with God empowers me to press on knowing there is a plan with a “future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)  This truth encourages me and allows me to be awake and intentional so that I can discover purpose and meaning, with God, my family of origin, the faith community and the world.

My relationship with God allows me to reflect on the episodes of my life where I can see how ‘LOVE’s [GOD’S] power has been manifesting in me more devotion and more love and compassion.  I Love God and believe God’s revelation of Love is at the core of the Divine nature; out of which flows the truth that leads to justice and mercy and the profound sense of community.

My personal story with all its ups and downs, sufferings and celebrations are a testament to a God who looks upon me as a “beloved daughter.  This revelation is what drives my passion in ministry to be an instrument whereby others may come to realize their own belovedness and dignity as human persons.  Ultimately, if we understand ourselves as belonging to God and that God belongs to us and we belong to each other,  we can remain hopeful when we are in the midst of adversity, loss and betrayal.

What is it that feeds my faith? It is the Holy Scriptures.  I am  fascinated and amazed  by the fact that they are a compilation of legends, myths, histories, prophesies, poems and personal stories, all relating to the reality of God and human existence.  The fact that Jesus went to the scriptures to inform the world of his ministry further gives weight to their importance. When I study the ways people have discerned and interpreted God’s  presence with them, I am often impressed and surprised how the authenticity of  their encounters affirm and confirm what I perceive to be my own encounters with the One who loves beyond measure.  It is for this reason I accept and call the Books of the Bible sacred text.

When I first began reading the Bible, it was daunting because in my ignorance, I had assumed a single person wrote it, in a single lifetime. Then when I found out that It is the only compilation that has many authors and was written over 4000 years of history.  I see God in it because it is still here, still intact and still changing people’s lives.  I see the text from the point of view that God’s greatest desire is for the human family to rediscover that we belong to each other in a community of oneness.  It is with this perspective, that I approach Scripture with a ‘God is still speaking’ mindset. Ultimately, I am looking for the DNA of God where God’s Love is manifested in power and transformation.

What are your sacred texts?  What have been your impressions of the Bible?     All Questions, Doubts and Inquires welcome!!!!