Peacelovers and Peacemakers

Advent CandlesA big thank you to everyone who stayed Sunday to help decorate the church for the Advent/Christmas/Epiphany season. Many hands made light work and the result is beautiful. As the mind is fed by words and the ear by music, so is the eye fed by art and decoration. May all our efforts be blessed in this sacred season.

In this week in which the focus theme is peace, it is hard to face another horrible act of gun violence. One friend said she is tired of thoughts and prayers and looking for action to end the madness. She has a point. Prayers for peace are important; sometimes that’s all we can do. But prayer without some involvement in being the change we want seems like an exercise in futility. Passivity is not peace. What can we do as peacelovers to be peacemakers as well? Surely one thing is to continue to press our legislators for reasonable gun control laws. Speaking up, loudly and clearly, for justice (without which there can never be real peace) and compassion is crucial. It is not enough to sing our songs and pray our prayers of peace. We must find ways to follow actively the Prince of Peace.

The ancient word for Sunday is Zechariah’s song at the birth of his son, John. As he exults in the improbable child of his old age, he also holds hope that the “dawn from on high” will “guide our feet into the way of peace.” It’s not just our hearts or our minds that need to know the transforming way of peace. It’s also our feet that need to put us physically on the path that leads to God’s Beloved Community.

In Adult Spiritual Formation, we will continue with the video series, “Saving Jesus Redux.” This week we will consider “The World into which Jesus Was Born.” Was it so different from our own time? If so, what can we learn from his context about Jesus’ ministry and our own?

See you Sunday at 10:00 AM ready to worship, learn and share. Bring someone with you to experience the beauty, the wonder, the challenges of life lived in hope and peace.

May we continue to grow together as God’s people.

Pastor Rick 

Communion Service                 

Pastor Rick: December 5

banjo.fwWhat a lovely beginning we have had for the Advent season.  Thanks to everyone who has contributed in action and in spirit.  It seems that we are on the right road of preparation for the holy coming.  I urge you to participate in all the activities of the season as much as possible at the same time I encourage you to take time to prepare.  Both John and Jesus spend time alone in the wilderness as they prepare for the work to which God has called them.  We may not find ourselves in the wilderness per se, but some down time in all the crush of holiday madness may be just what God is calling us to – time to sit quietly, to consider what is to come, to pray that we may be ready, to search for wisdom and understanding, to contemplate the light that is coming into the world and how it is manifest in hope, peace, joy and love.

Sunday we will spend time with John the Baptist and his forebears  John’s is that alarming voice, crying in the wilderness for us to make ready the road to salvation, urging all who will listen to turn from the seduction of empire to the promise of God’s righteous reign.  In this process, we will also look again at Zechariah’s song, the “Benedictus,” which was the focus of our work with Jennifer Davidson last month.  What did we learn in those sessions that we might bring to our worship this Sunday?  How might all these ancient words of blessing and comfort, prophecy and hope help us prepare for God’s touch on our lives this Advent?

As part of your time of preparation, I strongly encourage you to join us for Friday night’s contemplative service in the astonishing beauty of our worship space.  I find this to be a holy, healing time and trust that you might, too.  The services are simple and brief, scripture, songs, prayer and silence.

Sunday, we will keep our caroling and chili supper at 4:00 PM, so we will also continue our sessions in Adult Spiritual Formation on the theme “Prepare the Way.”  This Sunday we will consider preparation for Christ’s coming – in our faith community.  What is it for which we hope in this season and how might its realization make a difference in us and around us?

This is a wonderful time to invite a family member, friend, colleague, neighbor or stranger to join us in worship, sharing and learning.  See you Sunday at 10:00 AM and at the other events of the season.

May God bless us and keep us on the way,

Pastor Rick