When I was a kid the ‘peace sign’ was all the rage. By the time I became old enough to be aware of such things, the ever present sign had been co opted and commercialized and slapped on t-shirts, posters, stickers – you name it. I came to represent a cliched and caricatured version “hippies” more than any actual idea of peace. Peace became a word associated with slackers and idealist, unrealistic romantics. Then the cold war warriors tortured it’s meaning in another direction with the “peace through strength” mantra. Missiles, bombs, jets, tanks and subs became the new symbols of “peace”. They are just the most recent in our seeming ongoing adventure of human misunderstanding. Yet, in the midst of all our failures to truly understand, practice, and receive peace, Jesus’ offer still stands. This Sunday, we once again take a look at it as we celebrate lighting the peace candle on our Advent wreath and consider Jesus’ invitation afresh.
Let’s give it a go, shall we?
Grace and peace y’all,
John Ray and the teaching team
Peace has been proclaimed since the time people first came into conflict, but we still struggle to really know what that means or how to receive and practice it.
As Christians, we have the privilege of freely receiving God’s grace and knowing that God has accomplished divine purpose in our lives. But we are challenged with committing to an active and intentional relationship while we wait to see and experience complete fullness.
How does this fit with Belong, Become, Believe?
At grace, our practice of inviting people to belong comes from our belief that peace has actually been given to us, all of us. That no longer are there things between us that make us enemies or outcasts. This practice is what helps us understand both who we are to become and what we are to believe.
The third Sunday of Advent: Joy!