Advent is the season where we wait and watch for God’s presence to be made known. Anticipation grows as we count down to Christmas. It’s an exciting time of year. For the church, it is also meant to be a time of repentance and introspection – a little Lent – as we prepare our hearts to receive Jesus.

This year, I chose the Advent theme “Peace is possible,” because I find those words change my attitude from one of despairing resignation to one of patient hope. Jesus came to bring Peace. The angels pronounced Peace on Earth when he was born and he breathed his Peace on his followers after he was resurrected.

For the next four weeks, my sermons and writing will ask us to collectively imagine what a peaceable world would look like and how God could use us to make it happen.

This Sunday, as we rejoice in the baptism of Graham Parker Allen, we, along with his parents, will promise to help him “work for justice and peace in all the world.” What a perfect way to start the church’s new year and to be reminded that peace is possible.