December always reminds me of Jesus because of Christmas, but it doesn’t remind me of Peace (our theme of worship this month). Peace always seems such an elusive thing this time of year what with hectic schedules and family gatherings. And now it feels even more so since the election. It’s hard not to get discouraged. But then I think of that Jesus guy again. No, not the one he got made in to – not the one about sin and damnation. I’m talking about the one who wanted peace for his people. I wonder if he got discouraged? Probably, at times. But Jesus didn’t see peace as an absence of conflict. Rather, he saw peace as the presence of justice (to quote MLK). And so he fought for it. He stood up to those in power; he brought people together in community; and he took care of those who could not stand up for themselves. He wasn’t afraid of a little conflict.
2017 may bring a lot of challenges to peace, the presence of justice. But like Jesus, we too cannot be afraid of a little conflict. Conflict is not something that comes naturally to me. I’d much rather stay at home and drink hot cocoa. But then I remember that Jesus guy again and think. “Well shoot, if a middle-eastern, peace-loving, working class man can get out there and preach love, then so can I.” So let’s preach the love this year. Our world is going to need it!
See you in church,