Brothers and sisters –

Advent is not only filled with anticipation for the coming of Jesus, but a yearning for peace.  We saw a picture of peace in our opening Scripture last week from Isaiah 2:4–

[God’s people] shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.

And we’ll see it again this Sunday in the images from our opening text from Isaiah 11 –

6 The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.
7 The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together;
    and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
    and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
9 They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

It’s easy to lose hope, to give up on peace, but we could all use a little peace right now, eh?  Our world needs peace more than ever.  But where to begin?  How to start? How to continue?

A very dear friend of mine, who is a pastor, offered this Advent prayer last week.  It gave me hope because it told the truth.  It helped me to pray for peace.  Maybe it will help you too.

Unexpected God,
your advent alarms us.
Wake us from drowsy worship,
from the sleep that neglects love,
and the sedative of misdirected frenzy.
Awaken us now to your coming,
and bend our angers into your peace.

In the name, and in the power of the One who is the Prince of Peace –

Be the church!

Pastor Heidi