What Would it Mean to Have Peace?

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Last Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent. Jean Miller lit the first candle on the Advent wreath. This is the candle of hope. Jean celebrated her 98th birthday on November 23rd. So, last Sunday, the oldest member of our church lit the candle of hope.

I have been thinking about this a lot and have come to the conclusion that Jean’s lighting of the candle of hope gave witness to some of the profound realities of our Advent expectation. No matter what our age, no matter how we are feeling, no matter what has happened in our life and no matter where we are today – no matter what – God is with us now and will be with us as we move into the future. I believe Advent invites us to ponder these realities.

This Sunday is the second Sunday of Advent. Glenna Briant and Forrest Barclay will light the Advent candle of peace. Rosalee Blake and Jennifer Hayes have written Advent reflections for this week reflecting on comfort, promise and peace. I encourage you to spend time with their words, to ponder their thoughts and to use Rosalee and Jennifer’s ideas to open your own hearts and minds to the meaning of peace. What would it mean to have peace? What would it mean to have peace in our lives? Peace in our relationships? Peace in our community? Peace in our world?

May the peace of God which passes all understanding – the peace that the world cannot give, but can never take away – may that peace be with each of you and all of us together on the second Sunday of Advent and always.

Please keep our beloved church in your prayers. I remember you in mine and I look forward to seeing you soon.
With love,

Pat

And speaking of peace – Rich Saxon has produced another stunning, emotional video using images and music from our 9/11 weekend. Click the link below to watch. I believe that every day can be a day of “Remembrance, Healing and Wholeness” if we stop to listen to one another, to our own selves and to the one who created the spirit of love which we are all counting on to change the world. Thank you Rich!

911 Remembrance

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Peace by Rosalee Blake

Advent is a beautiful season of meaningful and expectant waiting. It highlights the paradox of peace in the midst of unfulfilled promises. The challenge is to rely on a promise from God that peace is indeed on its way, without knowing if it is just around the corner, or perhaps a long way off. Advent beckons you to recall occasions where God’s promise of peace sustained you through a dark period, or to ponder a current situation in which God calls you to live with patience and waiting. During this Advent, may the Peace of Christ enter your life in new, unimaginable, and joy-filled ways.

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Comfort Ye, Comfort Ye, My People
Isaiah 40:1
Tenor solo from Handel’s, The Messiah
By Jennifer Hayes

Several years ago I found myself homeless–waiting for my check to come in, no way to pay the deposit and first month’s rent on an apartment. My friend, Sarah’s, older sister, Beth, had an empty house ready for sale, cleaned, sign out front, realtors coming and going. Beth was willing for me to stay there temporarily, but everything, suitcases, camp bed, bathroom and kitchen articles had to be put in closets each morning plus I had to vacate during the afternoon and evening.

That night as I lay on my camp cot, flashlight and Bible next to me, I prayed, “Thank you, God for good friends like Sarah and Beth. Even though I feel sad tonight, I have friends who help during hard times and Isaiah’s words of comfort are singing through my heart. “Comfort ye, my people.”