This Advent Blog is written by an Adult GUMY Leader, Lisa.
Peace is one of my favorite words! We use it casually, “Peace out!” and sometimes a bit more formally. (Pastor Kyle signs his church emails “Grace + Peace.”) It’s even one of many names we have for Jesus. “For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6.
I was born during the time of the Vietnam War. In the years surrounding that conflict, songs about Peace were literally everywhere. Mostly, as a kid in the 70’s, I thought of those songs as specifically defining peace as an absence of war. In 2020, I think it’s time to broaden the definition. This year has brought so much: the Black Lives Matter movement, a global pandemic and its impact on the economy, and frequent reminders to take care of our one, precious Earth.
Black Lives Matter. It’s been a movement for a while, but recently it has become much more visible. I’ve had the opportunity this year to peacefully protest, alongside both Black and White brothers and sisters. When I first participated, I thought, okay, I’ll go hold up a sign. But as I learned more about systemic racism, racial profiling, and unfair practices, I found that, if I care at all about Peace, this is a movement I can’t ignore. “Jesus said, Truly I tell you, whatever you did for these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40.
The Pandemic. And the Economy. We are all swimming in the same ocean and our actions have an impact on each other. We each contribute to a more Peaceful society and care for each other, every time we do a small act of kindness (wearing a mask, washing our hands, social distancing.) I feel certain that if we take care of each other, the economy will follow. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27
The Earth. “God blessed the people and told them to fill the earth and take care of it.” Genesis 1:28. God gave us one earth on which to reside and he gave humans the job of caring for it. As I look out my back window, I see a most peaceful scene: Six horses are beautifully and peacefully grazing in the pasture, as the snow falls all around them. The horses appear to be at Peace. They don’t seem to know that there’s a pandemic. Black and White and Brown horses are all grazing peacefully, side by side, trusting that the earth that God has given us, will provide for them.
Friends, I wish you Peace this Christmas season. Find Peace in the little moments: standing up for others, caring for friends, or just spending time (remotely or safely in person) with each other. GUMY Love!