Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, as snow is falling and it is chilly out. We are less than two weeks before Christmas day. Just a reminder about our Christmas services: there will only be the 10 a.m. service on December 24 and then our Christmas candle light service at 7 p.m. It is a perfect service to bring family and friends.
At the 10 a.m. service we will have coffee and tea and we invite you to bring baked cookies and other sweets that are family favorites to share with your spiritual family.
I want to give a shout out to Bonnie LePage for the years of service she has given to providing us with excellent audio/visual for our Sunday Celebration services. This Sunday she will be handing over the reins to Gary Wane and Andrew Williamson, who will continue giving us the best support any minister could ask for. Well done, Bonnie! Please take a minute to thank her for her good work.
This past Sunday was the second Sunday of Advent, and the word was peace. The focus of the message was taken from the Beatitudes: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons (and daughters) of the God of peace.” What is a peacemaker? Good question!
Let’s first look at what a peacemaking is not.
Peacemaking is not the absence of conflict. Peacemaking is not the avoidance of strife. Peacemaking is not the appeasement of parties. Peacemaking is not the accommodation of issues.
Peacemakers instead are pursuing all the beauty and blessedness of God upon another. William Barclay (writer of biblical commentary) translates this beatitude as, “They are people who produce right relationships in every sphere of life.”
Peacemaking is divine work. And Jesus is the supreme Peacemaker. He came to establish peace; his message was the demonstration of peace.
There have been many peacemakers in our lifetime, and one that I quote extensively in this talk is Fr. John Dear, who has been actively working for peace for 35 years. To hear more about Fr. Dear, listen to the Sunday message.
Another peacemaker that we are all familiar with is St. Francis of Assisi. Here is his famous prayer:
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon,
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
Where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
This Sunday the 8 a.m. service talk will be about Love in honor of the third Sunday of Advent. At the 10 a.m. service our children will be presenting a Christmas play.