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Helping Our Peace Endure

Helping Our Peace Endure

Dec 8

Season’s Greetings Sisters and Brothers in Faith,

Here it is, December again! For many of us, we’re probably saying, “another year has flown by”. Others of us are more likely caught up in the spirit of this being “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”- i.e. Christmas. And depending on where we land, we are either reflecting back over the last year or focused on last minute shopping, decorating the home, and getting ready for the New Year. All of which is why Christmas is considered one of the major crisis times of the year with high rates of depression and suicide. But it is possible to reverse this effect on our lives or at the very least, arrest it. The key is a practice of Advent H.O.P.E. (Helping Our Peace Endure).

Against our culture’s push to consume the clutter of what has become Christmas, stands the simple yet profound season of Advent. Advent prepares us for the celebration of the historical coming of Jesus the Christ at Christmas. It is also a time for increasing our capacity to experience the Christ or Divine Presence in us. It is a time of preparation, of making room in our lives for the awareness that we are in fact spiritual beings as each week we call into our conscious lives attributes of our spiritual nature. These attributes are Hope, Peace, Love and Joy. But Hope and Peace are emphasized because Hope and Peace offer a way through to Love and Joy when life becomes a mess due to daily disappointments and frustrations. Hope and Peace enables us to survive when occasional crises arise, such as illness, failure, difficulty, and sadness.
As we consider these things, we are reminded of the words we read in
(Romans 5:4-5) “… We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us”.
The most significant thing taken from this is that Hope is reliable and not because it’s built on our intelligence, our character, or our connections but because it is certified by the Spirit of God within us. So as we continually acknowledge our daily distresses we renew our Hope with each trial we experience.
The reliability of Hope makes clear the understanding of why someone recently defined Peace thus: “Peace is the process of Elimination of all doubt And fear from my Conscious thinking. I actively Experience peace in my world”. Therefore, the living practice of AdventH.O.P.E. (Helping Our Peace Endure) or rather the interplay of Hope and Peace enables us to consciously return time and again to the Christ Light or Divine Presence within us. This empowers us to maintain a calm center and practiced Peace in all our relations. Perhaps this is how we make real the lyrics, “Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me”.
Finally, I pray for each of us a Blessed Christmas and that the presence of the Christ remains foremost in our mind just as in Philippians 2:5  which reads “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” – “Helping Our Peace Endure”.
 Yours in fellowship…. Reverend Gale Jones, Executive Pastor

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