Last week in worship we lit the candle of hope. As I talked about in our sermon, our hope isn’t just wishful thinking about how things might get better in the future. No, our hope is grounded in the reality of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, and the promise of his return to redeem and restore all of God’s creation. We have hope because we know that, in spite of our circumstances, God is in control and is making all things new.
This week we will light the candle of peace. As we light this candle on the Advent wreath we remember that God has not only called us to be a people who long for God’s ultimate peace to be established under his rule and reign, but also a people who seek to establish peace on earth. We are called, by God, to help establish peace and justice even now.
That means that we have work to do!
We are to be a people in whom Jesus is establishing an inward peace and confidence that spills out into the world. How is it with your soul and where are you finding time to allow God to establish peace in your heart.
We are also to be a people who establish peace in the world by advocating for justice, speaking up for the poor and marginalized, and by caring for the orphan and the widow. Friends, it is not enough for us to simply wait for peace, we must work for peace. We must put our hands to work for the sake of peace not only here in Statesboro, but around the world. This means that we both affirm and live into our baptismal vow to “resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.”
My prayer for you this week is that you would begin to find space in your life to develop an inward sense of peace—perhaps by spending time in prayer, solitude, or even in nature. Then I pray that you would begin to find places where you can become a peacemaker. Places where you can draw people together instead of further dividing them. Places where you can seek to understand, rather than be understood. Places where you can exhibit compassion, empathy, and vulnerability towards others for the sake of establishing peace.
May we not simply long for peace, but work for peace wherever we happen to be.
For Jesus. For People. For Community.