Monday, December 05, 2005

2nd Sunday of Advent

Yesterday featured the lighting of a second purple candle on the Advent Wreath, the Candle of Peace, featuring this reading:
"'For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.'(Isaiah 9:6-7)

"Today we light the second candle of the Advent Wreath. It is the candle of peace. If only our world could be at peace. Instead we are sending men and women, our neighbors, relatives, fellow citizens, into hot-beds of hostility and hatred. One religion against another. Will the nations of the world ever be at peace?

"Will members of the same family be able to settle differences? Will neighbors learn to live with respect for diversity and acceptance of one another? Jesus said: 'Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.' We are called to be active peacemakers, working with one another – friends and strangers alike – to bring harmony into a discordant world.

"How? We follow the example of our Lord as described by Paul in his letter to the Christians in Ephesus:

"'The Messiah has made things up between us so that we're now together on this, both non-Jewish outsiders and Jewish insiders. He tore down the wall we used - to keep each other at a distance. He repealed the law code that had become so clogged with fine print and footnotes that it hindered more than it helped. Then he started over. Instead of continuing with two groups of people separated by centuries of animosity and suspicion, he created a new kind of human being, a fresh start for everybody. Christ brought us together through his death on the Cross. The Cross got us to embrace, and that was the end of the hostility. Christ came and preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders. He treated us as equals, and so made us equals. Through him we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father.'(Ephesians 2:14-18)"

Last week, the church was also decorated with the Christmas Putz. Although sometimes these can be so elaborate they include many of the events lead up to the Nativity, Glenwood's was focused just on the standard shepherds, magi, etc.


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