On the second Sunday of Advent we light the candle of Peace. Of the four candles—Hope, Peace, Joy and Love—this one holds the most irony, for it seems our world is in a constant state of, if not war, then unrest.
In our busy, overly-scheduled lives peace is fleeting at best. Who among us doesn’t long to sing “let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”
I find that so often the state of the church determines my personal state of mind. This has been such a great year for Palmetto. Our ministry is flourishing and there really seems to be an overall feeling of peace.
Yet, I realize there is a danger in feeling too peaceful. When I first met with the committee on ministry back in 1988, I was asked to share my faith journey and why I felt called to ministry. I talked about how “comfortable” and at home I felt in the Presbyterian church. I will never forget the moderator of the committee saying my call to ministry was NOT to be comfortable. Ministry is not about peace and quiet and harmony.
All these years later, I realize that meeting with the committee on ministry so long ago has influenced my ability to be at peace. I have this restlessness that I can’t seem to escape. But surely, peace means different things to different people. The apostle Paul speaks of the “peace that transcends all understanding.” Even when we see that there is still much to be done, isn’t it possible to be at peace knowing that ultimately, God is in control and we can commit all our cares to the Lord?
My prayer is that we all might experience this special divine peace that “transcends all understanding” as we move through this hectic Advent season.
This coming Sunday we will light the Advent candle of Joy—I want you to know it truly is a JOY being your pastor.
Have a Joyous Advent,