No Peace Without Justice

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(This week marks the second week of Advent. The word Advent means “coming,” as we prepare to celebrate Christ’s coming as a baby in a manger so long ago, anticipate his coming again at the end of time, and – hopefully – become more aware of the many ways Christ comes to us each day…)

On the second Sunday of Advent, Pastor Suzanne’s morning message (https://youtu.be/qU2cJE75IWk) looks at the message of John the Baptist according to the gospel of Luke. In Luke’s presentation of the Baptizer’s message (found in Luke 3:1-17), we see that justice or righteousness (they are, by the way, the same word in Greek) are more than churchy words or concepts. They are about the way that we live. They are about sharing with those in need and not living from a place of fearful hoarding or self-preservation. They are about being in a right relationship with God, other people, and all of creation.

This Advent season, Trinity is focusing on the message of the angels to the shepherds on that night of Jesus’ birth: “Peace on earth, good will toward all.” Right now, we are all so desperate for more peace in our lives and our world. But we must remember that there can never be peace without justice.

Throughout this season of Advent, I invite you to engage in a process of being attentive to God’s Word and God’s presence through scripture and prayerful meditation, perhaps using the process below. A free app to assist you with this way of practicing attentiveness to God’s presence can be found at https://www.contemplativeoutreach.org/centering-prayer-mobile-app/

  • Read a passage of scripture
  • After reading, say this simple prayer of the early Church, “Come, Lord Jesus” or the prayer of the boy Samuel from 1 Samuel 3:9-10, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening”
  • Sit quietly for ten minutes or more, listening for God’s voice
  • If your mind begins to wander, refocus yourself by using a mantra, perhaps: “God, guide my feet into the way of peace”

You might use the following resources to select a scripture – a different one for each day or one for the full week:

  • Trinity’s weekly online devotional. The Dec. 6 devo is written by Melissa Kramer, Trinity’s Director of Congregational Ministries and focuses on Mark 1:1-8. View it at http://www.trinitylafayette.org/advent/second-sunday-of-advent-prepare
  • Trinity’s weekly Advent group will focus on additional scriptures around this theme of righteousness: Matthew 1:18-25 (Joseph is the first righteous character presented in Matthew’s gospel); Matthew 5:17-20; and, of course, our biblical theme guiding us through this season, Luke 1:78-79.
  • Twenty at Twilight is a weekly video post that provides a 20 minute guided meditation, a way of praying with scripture, to conclude the day focusing on and resting in the presence of God. This week’s 20 at Twilight guides us through a prayerful process to consider how to bring more “rightness” into our relationships. View it at https://youtu.be/k5IYcVNemWU

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