In our worship service Sunday, December 8, we observed the second Sunday of Advent. Right before our very eyes the church sanctuary underwent a transformation. We tingled with anticipation as men, women and children combined to make ready our house for a most special event.
Huge Christmas wreaths were suspended at key points around the sanctuary. The children joined in by recreating all the characters that appeared in Bethlehem’s nativity venue.
Today marked a first for our church. Two friends of mine, who for a very long time have been loving partners in a same-sex marriage, were selected to light the peace candle. I tremble with joy at this unspoken, but deliberate, inclusive act!
The candle they lit is called the peace candle.
Peace? When our nation is so politically polarized.
Peace? When the lives of innocents, almost daily, are taken by the shot of some type of gun.
Peace? When our nation becomes the laughingstock of the civilized world?
Peace? When political compromises are unheard of?
Gabriel proclaimed, “Don’t be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy”
Isaiah said, “He will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
The kind of peace that Christ brings is a gift to individuals, families and churches when they are unapologetic in accepting each other in love while being void of censuring.
Saint Francis’s words. “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace” resonates with me. God, grant me courage to speak out when human rights are being trampled.
God, grant me the courage to applaud positive, courageous steps taken by my church. Keep us all peace hungry.