“May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.” For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.” For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your prosperity. ~Psalm 122:6-9
December 1st begins again the Church’s Liturgical Calendar and the first Sunday in Advent. Each Sunday is marked with a particular theme – peace, hope, joy, and love – and this year we begin the season with the wish for peace.
The Psalmist is raising prayers and praise for the people of Israel and all those visiting the Temple in Jerusalem. And, like most of us, he is hoping for peace for those he loves the most; his family and friends.
Hopefully, many of us celebrated Thanksgiving surrounded by the peace and love of family and friends. But for some, the holidays are dreaded because we know personal or political arguments will haunt the festivities. And throughout the world peace is rare and desperately needed. It may seem as though the world is increasingly divided, partisan, and hostile. That is, after all, the way the world and humanity has always been.
The question for us is, how do we remain peace filled in the middle of these storms? How do we remain calm, focused, and most of all hopeful when surrounded by the din of discord? Where do we get the strength to remain above it all and not be pulled into the craziness?
There is really only one answer.
This time of year we remember the title given by the Prophet Isaiah and repeated in the Gospel stories; Jesus, the “Prince of Peace”, born to bring light and salvation into this dark and broken world. Prayer, praise, meditation, and mission help keep us focused on what is truly important; loving God and loving neighbor, whether friend, foe, or family! It is our call as His disciples to BE the peace the world so desperately needs!
Grace and Peace,