When it seems like we know only how to wage war, may this Advent season be a powerful reminder to us all of how our God is waging peace in our world. The birth of Christ was God’s way of demonstrating his love for us completely and showing us an alternative way to live, by loving God with all our heart and soul and loving our neighbor as much as we love ourselves. This is radical and difficult stuff! This is life-transforming stuff!
Think about how incredible this gift is and what it says about our God. Creating all things out of love, the Triune God knows that the fullest expression of that love is to share in and relate to his creation fully, so Jesus is born. Not born a son of Caesar or into some family of the top 1%, but at the bottom of the remaining 99%. Born of a peasant family in an economically insignificant outpost within the Roman Empire. (Truly, when Jesus says, “when you do unto the least of these, you do unto me”, he wasn’t kidding.) Identifying with the “least of these” is central to his call to wage peace because the first to suffer in any conflict are the poor.
Advent is a time of waiting. Waiting for the coming of our Lord. Waiting for God to demonstrate to us, his love for us. Waiting for Christ leads to hope. But this “waiting” is not passive. It is an active endeavor in which we are invited to participate in the Kingdom. Actively restoring relationships that have grown cold. Actively seeking or giving forgiveness, including to ourselves. Actively feeding those who are hungry and empathizing with those who have experienced loss. Waging peace may not be glamorous but it is glorious! Let us make this Advent time a shining example of what God intends for all of our lives, all the time – to join Emmanuel in waging peace.
“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God with us.” - Matthew 1:23
I'm a follower of Christ, husband, father, friend, pastor, story teller, asker of questions, inspired by biblical narratives, social justice advocate, sports enthusiast, drinker of over priced coffee and general seeker of God's redemptive possibilities. Yeah, that about covers it. (If you discover something else, let me know!)