Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Advent 2 – PEACE
Sunday, December 4, 2016
John 20: 19 - 22

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” John 20: 19

Did Jesus greet the disciples with the word "Shalom"?  The Hebrew translation is "peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility and can be used as both hello and goodbye" As a radical young activist in the 1970s, I "lived" the word "peace".   My necklace bore a peace symbol; my bedroom was decorated with peace themed posters; I sang peace songs with Pete Seeger and attended every peace rally in town.  My father quietly referred to me as his "peacenik". Peace to me meant an end to the civil rights strife in the United States; what I wanted for Vietnam and the world.  It meant living in harmony with other people and the environment.  I was ready, willing and able to devote my life to achieve this.  I still hold these ideals close to my heart, although, in my golden age, "peace" has taken on a rather different meaning for me.  Religion-based terrorism and global warfare for territorial domination have escalated the critical focus for "peace".  We, like the disciples, live in fear of what is outside our "doors". We worry about what environmental disasters our children will inherit from us and the effect of technology and social media on their world.  The "peace" we now seek is an inner peace -- the "peace of mind".  In this scriptural passage, Jesus says "Peace be with you" --not only the wish for an end to the strife between the Jews, Romans and Christians, but the assurance that his death and resurrection will bring about inner peace for those who follow Him.  May God grant you the inner peace to enable you to spread Shalom throughout the world.
– Sue Ann Elite

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