Thursday, December 09, 2010

CMEP Advent Reflections:Week Two

“Prince of Peace” 2010 Advent and Christmas Sunday Reflections
Living With Division

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
-Romans 15:4-6 (NRSV)

Last week we were asked to consider if we thought we could ascend to the mountaintop. Is it possible to for Israelis and Palestinians to realize that violence is not the means to a better future? Yes it is, and in fact many people already do see that the violence caused in the name of their nations has yet to achieve the security and justice sought by either peoples. But not everyone thinks this way.

So how do we, as followers of Jesus, live in the spectrum of perspectives, ideas and the people that hold them? How do we ascend to the mountaintop holding tight our expectation of peace while knowing that the reality of our disagreements and divergent perspectives make a challenging journey even more difficult?

How? We put one foot on the ground before us, and then the other foot. We stand grounded in God who gives us strength through scripture. We stay connected to the people who help us grow in faith and understanding, and even help us stay on the trail up the mountain. We work together, with grace-filled, forgiving hearts knowing that if Palestinian and Israeli peace advocates can walk together then certainly we Americans, who do not live under the daily threats and realities of violence in the Holy Land, can reach across what divides us and walk up the mountain together.
- The Reverend Doris Warrell, CMEP Field Director

PrayerMay the God of steadfastness and encouragement guide us to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus. May we together with one voice glorify God, our Father/Mother, our brother and Lord Jesus Christ, and the Spirit which transcends all. Amen

For MeditationWhere do I tolerate division from another person in my life? How can I expect others to do what I will not? What can I do this week to remove the division from me and my neighbor? What do I need to do to build up my community for peacemaking and not warmaking?

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