What an incredible week as we conclude Advent and look forward to the celebration of Christmas! This Sunday, we'll learn how an advent-urous life leads to peace. Mahatma Gandhi is often credited as saying, “Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it." This quote can't be linked to him directly, but different versions have been shared by many famous leaders including Ronald Reagan who had his own spin saying, “Peace is not the absence of conflict but the ability to cope with it using peaceful means.”
Whoever is defining peace, one thing is clear...peace isn’t a denial of difference or a spiritual denial of the world in which we live. Peace is more than a denial of conflict. The Advent story of Christ coming into our world reminds us that peace is possible even in the midst of what feels like incredible strife and conflict. This week, Pastor Sarah will examine how Mary’s very identity and the manner in which Jesus was born help point to the possibility of peace. This type of peace stands in contrast to the peace that was offered by Rome and continues to be offered by simply stomping out conflict. Advent-urous peace is an invitation to look beyond conflict with a different kind of vision. On Christmas Eve, we will celebrate the final gift of an advent-urous life - one that gives us a vision of a Kingdom that looks radically different as we celebrate the birth of Christ. This is going to be an incredible couple of days! In the midst of what can be chaos and stress, we can hear the voice of God offering peace and presence - truly God amongst us - Emmanuel.