Seasonal Reflection:  Advent, 2018

Reflecting on PeaceFor what are you waiting? Hoping? Preparing? We can answer those questions in many ways from the sublime to the profound. I, for one, am waiting for a date to have my cracking ceiling repaired. I’m hoping it won’t take too long and will be done without too much mess. Right now I’m preparing in my mind and eventually in real time what I’ll have to move and where and how. Of a much more serious nature, refugees are likely to be waiting for a better day when they can live in peace and safety. They are hoping that day will come very soon, whether in their own homes or in a place of asylum, and they are preparing for the possibility of a long and arduous journey to an unknown future. We all go through periods in our lives when we wait and hope and prepare, sometimes for what may be trivial and sometimes for what may be critically important.

We are now in Advent, a time of waiting, hoping, and preparing for the coming of our Savior. Of course, we believe he already came and is with us always, but we might think of Advent as a time to remember and reinvigorate our reception of him in our hearts and homes.

Having asked for what are you waiting, hoping, and preparing, the next question to ponder is whether we wait, hope, and prepare with the same vigor with which we wait, hope, and prepare for the more mundane things in our lives.If not, why not? I am not talking about writing cards and wrapping presents, decorating, and baking. I mean deeply readying ourselves for the Prince of Peace to arrive anew. What does that look like? How does that feel?

It may help to go back to those earthly things for which we wait, hope, and prepare. Perhaps if we recognize Jesus in them, we can apply the same anxiety, eager anticipation, excitement, or whatever emotion we experience to his arrival. After all, as already stated, he isalready here. He actually is present in our various circumstances and in us. Let Advent be a refresher for us to strengthen our faith and resolve to carry on the mission he started two millennia ago, to love and give, to forgive and be forgiven.

Happy Advent!


 

Prayer

 

God of hope, who brought love into this world,

be the love that dwells between us.

God of hope, who brought peace into this world,

be the peace that dwells between us.

God of hope, who brought joy into this world,

be the joy that dwells between us.

God of hope, the rock we stand upon,

be the centre, the focus of our lives always, and particularly this Advent time.

Source: Churches for Middle East Peace

 



Suggested Actions

  • - As one who works for peace and justice, choose something like the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, Human Rights, or the UN Climate Summit, and use the wait, hope, prepare model to dedicate some of your time and energy to helping advance the cause you chose. Call, write, rally, march, pray, educate others.

  • - Promote peace among the children in your life with the gifts you give. See PCMNY’s anti-war/pro-peace toy flier here.

  • - Recognize Jesus as already present in the people around you and in yourself. Look for examples of Jesus’s way in a family member, friend, colleague, or neighbor. Try to imitate that good example. Then strive to be an example of Jesus back to them.

  • - Stay on top of things through PCMNY’s e-mail action alert network, website, Facebook page, Twitter account, and activities

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