Words for the Week – December 12, 2019

Advent greetings!

This Sunday the kids will “preach” through the Advent pageant, People of Promise.  They’ll tell the story of the regular, extraordinary people who paved the way for Jesus.

Last Sunday, I preached on “Waiting for Justice.”  The Pharisees and Sadducees went to be baptized by John the Baptist but he rebuked them because they didn’t actually want to change.

Often, we paper over conflicts in a quest for peace. But that’s not a real peace.  People who want a real peace are willing to work for justice. I raised the example of the Virginia Theological Seminary. It was built by the labor of unpaid, enslaved people.  The Seminary recently made a financial commitment to pay their descendants. They won’t be able to repair the enormous sin of slavery, and yet the schools’ sacrifice shows that their desire for change is genuine.  They “bear the fruits of repentance.”

The work of justice is the fruit of repentance, made possible by the forgiveness of sins. As we wait for justice, I think we need to prepare to do two things: 1) offer forgiveness lavishly, following the example of Jesus, and 2) demand to see “fruit of repentance” in order to move forward in peace.  Listen to the sermon here.     

Finally, I want to let you know about two special upcoming services.  Next Thursday, December 19 at 7 pm, we will have a service of Healing and Hope as a time for people to bring all that is hard about this season to God in prayer.  And Next Saturday, December 21 at 2 pm, we will have a Memorial Service for John Clark, beloved member of Peace.  Read his obituary here.

Be at Peace,

Pastor Sarah