-Rev Melissa Fain-
18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. When Mary his mother was engaged to Joseph, before they were married, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph her husband was a righteous man. Because he didn’t want to humiliate her, he decided to call off their engagement quietly. 20 As he was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child she carries was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you will call him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 Now all of this took place so that what the Lord had spoken through the prophet would be fulfilled:
23 Look! A virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son,
And they will call him, Emmanuel.
(Emmanuel means “God with us.”)
24 When Joseph woke up, he did just as an angel from God commanded and took Mary as his wife. 25 But he didn’t have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to a son. Joseph called him Jesus.
Matt 1:18-25 CEB
Peace is the first step towards reaching a realized hope. It is the culmination of hard work. The pieces fall into place, and you are left with calm order.
That's the problem with peace. We just want it. We no longer have any concept of the work it takes to get it. While hope can occur at any time or place, peace is the result of blood, sweat, and tears.
Like if you live in my area, you've probably driven on Bill Carruth Pkwy. It's a peaceful drive, allowing residents to bypass the chaos of Hiram and C.H. James Parkway. It didn't start that way. We didn't magically wake up one day and see Bill Carruth in it's finished form. Huge rocks had to be blown out of the ground, Families had to be bought out of their homes. Trees had to be torn up. The path to that peaceful road was anything but peaceful.
That's what we have to remember this week as we enter into the Advent theme of peace. Finding peace is hard work. Often times that peace feels anything but peaceful. That's okay. Often times, it's good.
Dear Lord, Help us know when to enter the chaos to find peace. Amen.