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A Lasting Peace

Today’s Reflection

WE WILL PRAY for peace, recognizing where our own power ends and the power of God begins. We will pray with the confidence of those who are doing what they can but who do not delude themselves about the sufficiency of their own efforts. We will remember the one with whom we are in covenant and rely on God to fulfill our purposes since it was God, after all, who put them into our hearts.

—Barbara Brown Taylor, in The Wondrous Mystery: An Advent Reader (Upper Room Books, 2019)

Today’s Question

When you imagine the peace of Jesus, what images come to mind?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
—Luke 2:14 (NRSV)

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Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Jill November 20, 2019, 2:29 am

    Whoa – do I love that second sentence…”We will pray with the confidence of those who are doing what they can but who do not delude themselves about the sufficiency of their own efforts.” Yes, doing what we can, inspired and supported by the movement of the Holy Spirit. Trusting we are in His will and asking to be brought back into alignment when we venture off, on our own path, trusting our own ways. Living in and living out of His righteousness.
    Ok, so what was the question…images of His peace. What comes to mind is what He sees going on internally in my mind and heart. And then when I call out to Him, or claim a verse in His Word – He says, “Quiet, My child – peace, be still.” For so long I was unable to get to this tranquil spot. Praise Him – it is now my lush, green meadow – and He welcomes me time and again.
    Something quite remarkable occurred in one of my classes today. One of my students has been battling mental health issues and self harm. He has missed 8 of the first 12 weeks of school. He has been removed from the rigorous academic program in which I teach, but permitted to remain in my course. Yesterday he returned to school – and was embraced so warmly by his peers. I hope it touched him as it touched me. Some of my year 1 students are more mature than in years past. Not always seen on the male side – too much machismo…but these guys were great with him.
    Next Tuesday is our last day of school before Thanksgiving break. The end is in sight – and I have my eye on it.

  • Dorothy Kobylanski November 20, 2019, 7:34 am

    People of all cultures living together in harmony : A sunny day in green and blue with bird song. Enough healthy food and modest, clean dwellings. Interesting occupations and the arts. Good health .

  • Andrea November 20, 2019, 8:07 am

    I pray for peace in our hearts and minds. I do believe peace begins in individuals and radiates out.

    I pray for acceptance, for understanding and wisdom. With the holiday season here, decisions need to be made about how to spend the important celebrations.

    You are all in my prayers. I am dealing with increasing pain, PT, and adapting to the new reality. I walk in the footsteps of those here who have experience with pain, Jill and Julie who have shared their journeys with it. I count my blessings.

    Wednesday is the day I drive across the metro area to be with my beloved grandson until my daughter gets home from work, and from there, to bell choir practice in the early evening. A long day, joy-filled.

    I ask for prayers for my neighbor’s brother, Ron, who has an aggressive bone marrow cancer.

    Peace, prayers, blessings.

    • Julie November 20, 2019, 8:17 am

      Prayers dear Andrea. Pain is an insidious constant that we all must deal with at one time or another. I pray for relief for you. I pray you enjoy the time with you grandson, making memories he will cherish always.

  • Julie November 20, 2019, 8:13 am

    I was also held spellbound by the verse Jill repeated in her comments. We must pray and proceed in our lives with the knowledge that we and our actions are inadequate. We must surrender to the fact that God is truly the One directing our actions and that He is capable of anything at anytime in any circumstance. That is peace, the knowledge that He is Sovereign, the resting in this knowledge and the resulting letting go of our false sense of control.
    I have started taking a dose of the vasodilator in the morning. I have prayed that I do not experience side effects and may continue to take both doses.
    Prayers for Jill and her struggling student. Prayers of thanks for the joyful rejoicing and embracing of his peers. It moved me also.
    Prayers for Mary and her students.
    Prayers for Robert and his family, biological and new church family.
    Prayers for Dorothy, this is how I see the new world following Christ’s return.
    Prayers and thank you UR

  • Gail Churchill November 20, 2019, 8:41 am

    All the saints in heaven and Earth praising God, and that includes all people even if they are LGBQT or whatever.

  • robert moeller November 20, 2019, 12:24 pm

    I think of the peace that passes all understanding, for God’s peace is beyond even our imagination.

    Thankful for a very new, very explanatory look at Advent last night as the Advent Bible study got underway. Using a book by Amy-Jill Levine called Light of the World. With study members from other area churches this is an ecumenical approach.

    Ripped out some roadbed, it wasn’t right, and have made more progress with the layout.

    Thankful I was able to get email this morning, there was some sort of glitch for a while. I agree with Jill’s wise words, we are shadows of the Lord and need the Lord to accomplish anything. I pray for her student, thankful of the support she and her students have provided. Yes, I remember the days before Thanksgiving break.

    Thank you Dorothy, Julie, Andrea, and Gail. Prayers for relief from pain, no side effects from new treatment and meds, fun tine with a grandson, and the acknowledgement that everyone in the world is God created. Breaking down the boundaries that have existed between people will take some time. Lord help us see everyone as You see us. Glad to see Tazzie. Pearl is Erich’s cat, she surely keeps us busy.

    Blessings, prayers, and God’s peace to all.

  • Anonymous November 20, 2019, 4:34 pm

    Thank you all what an amazing question and reading today. You are all so inspiring and very eloquent in your writings. I felt the Holy Spirt at work. Jill you inspired me in many ways today! Bless you all.

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