“Send us Now Into the World in peace.”
As we enter the holy season of Advent, we reflect on the peace of Christ
-- who came to the world as the Prince of Peace that first Christmas
-- who comes to the world bringing glimpses of peace every day
-- who will come again to usher in the perfection of God’s peace in the
fullness of God’s time.
How do we live Christ’s peace until Christ comes again? How can we share Christ’s peace in an age when earthly peace is in short supply?
Jesus himself shows us the way as he pours himself out daily in love. Jesus came into a violent, divided and fearsome world two millennia ago, proclaiming the nearness of God. “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand,” he said. Turn around and look with new eyes that are wide open, because God is near and coming nearer.
Then Jesus showed the nearness of God as he healed the sick, gave sight to the blind and set captives free. He gave evidence of the nearness of God as he reached out arms of love to embrace all of God’s people, particularly the poor, the outcast and those on the fringes of society. He proved that God is near as he went to the halls of power and confronted the religious, political and economic systems that perpetuate injustice. For the sake of God’s peace for all people, he never backed down from the work God had called him to do. Instead, he submitted to a brutal death rather than deny the love that was in him.
Of course, we know the rest of the story. God raised Jesus to new life and, in him, we live. Now in the living Christ, we are sent into the world to live God’s peace lovingly yet fiercely every day of our lives, by
- entering into daily times of quiet prayer so that we can know God’s peace within
- treating everyone we encounter as if they were our beloved brother or sister (which they are!)
- and living as if the fullness of God’s peace were already present in the world.
In this Advent season, may you know God’s near presence. May you strive to share Christ’s peace. And may you be lifted by the words of the prayer:
“Send us Now Into the World in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord.” Amen.