The Advent themes we’ve been experiencing at church services the last four weeks are peace, hope, joy and love. These are, of course, subjects good for any time of the year, but they are particularly poignant and relevant for the month leading up to our Christmas celebration of the incarnation. God coming to earth in the form of a man was an incredible event, even though many didn’t recognize it as such then, and many still don’t, even though it continues to affect and shape the whole world.
Humans have always been able to endure a lot as long as they have hope. When hope dies, people give up. Peace has always been desired but has remained elusive since time began. Joy is certainly in short supply. We sing about love (what the world needs now) but we seem to be immersed in self-centeredness, greed and power grabbing. Jesus brought all these to this broken world but as he said, the Kingdom of God is more like leavening than an earthquake. The yeast of Jesus is still working its way through the world.
As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, let’s pray for his yeast to continue to permeate all we do – from our everyday interactions with family and friends, those in our neighborhoods and communities, workplaces and schools. He is our hope that keeps us going; he is our peace, which is the oil of brotherhood; he is our joy, the one who brought healing and redemption. He is love, and he wraps us in the warm blanket of that love, on Christmas and every day.
Peace, Hope, Joy and Love – arrived as a baby and now lives in us, lighting the way. Have a joyous Christmas!