Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Second Sunday of Advent December 7, 2008

The worship bulletin for this Sunday is here. The theme for this week is peace. I have recycled my Scriptures and some of the prayers from last year. But I have come up with new/different thoughts.

Isaiah 2.1-5
Isaiah 9.2-7
Luke 1.67-79
Isaiah 32.16-17

Peace is such a deep, elusive, and almost trendy subject. There are a lot of people talking about peace in a lot of different contexts. Framing it in advent terminology, there are a lot of people WAITING for peace. I think about us--the people in America--waiting for peace. We long for peace in Iraq. In Afghanistan. But why? Just so our soldiers can come home? That's a good enough reason, but how about the suffering of the people in those countries? And we wait for peace in Sudan (and the rest of Africa). But why? Because the thoughts of the suffering bother us? Because we watched Hotel Rwanda and were moved by it?
God's heart breaks with the conflict and suffering of the world. Ours should, too, because we are called to follow the words of Jesus: "Love your neighbor as yourself". And because we are all part of each other; we are all connected.
And we wait for peace in America. In the richest country in the world, our souls are empty and in perpetual turmoil. Let us pray Psalm 80.1-3:

1Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth

2before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your might, and come to save us!

3Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Saved. Saved from ourselves, saved from the things we have created, saved from the things we love.

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