This Sunday is the day we talk about peace.
Peace…when there is war raging in so many places around the globe…when people are not safe in houses of worship…when we don’t seem to be able to see each other as brothers and sisters but as enemies or “other”…when we seem to have little care about taking care of the environment we live in…
Where is peace?
This isn’t a new question. It’s one that’s asked in every generation–and every generation has to find their own answer.
Peace doesn’t mean just the absence of conflict. Yes, that would be nice, but even absence of conflict doesn’t mean peace. It may just mean that the conflict has been driven underground where it will fester until it breaks out again.
I like this quote from the Dalai Lama: “Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways.”
And I also like the challenge that is given to me by the One I follow. Jesus said “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” So peace is my responsibility as well.
The theme for the services this Sunday in my tradition is this: “Are you the One who is to come? or are we to look for another?”
Here is my response:
As we look around, we know that we have disagreements with each other. Some of them may be theological…some political. But our calling is to answer the question by both our telling and our living.If we can let the spirit of Christ bring healing and wholeness to our relationships…if we can let it help us find ways to work together despite our differences to bring peace…shalom…then we will show that truly this baby born in a simple stable far away from home…to a poor couple living in an occupied country…this baby did indeed grow into the One we were—and are—looking for.
May peace be yours on this third Sunday of Advent.