Each year about this time, in these days we call Advent, we hear words about peace — peace on Earth ... Prince of Peace ... peace. This year, as in years past, we are troubled by wars and political turbulence. This year, as last year, we see violence and oppression in our homeland. This year, as last year, we can look within and sense uncertainty and fear, and, if we are truly honest, the absence of peace.
We long for peace. But, truth is, we know so little peace in our world, in our community, in our lives that we may not truly recognize peace if it walked in the door and sat across the table from us. We read in Ephesians 2: "In Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace …." He is our peace. Peace is not a human invention or achievement, Paul reminds us, peace is a gift from God.
We are in a time of transition — a time of preparation and waiting called Advent — and we wait with a sense of promise. Do not be demoralized if the world does not seem to be a very peaceful place, Paul urges the faithful. Do not be discouraged if anxiety rules within your heart and confusion litters your daily lives. Those who walked with God before us knew this same dissonance, and yet they waited for God's son to light their path forward, they took the bread and the cup into their hands as grace, they gathered to worship and pray with fellow believers, they embraced a truth that was the joy of human desiring, they dreamed about a peace the world could neither give nor take away, a gift — yes, a gift — about to be revealed to us ... peace.