As we begin Advent, we enter a time of expectation and anticipation. Christmas churns up so many memories of celebrations as well as feelings of grief and confusion. These stations, written by our Minister, Rev Claire Dawe, offer you the opportunity to focus on the Christmas message of hope through the lens of justice, grace and love. Every few days, a new station will be available for you to ponder. We hope they will encourage you to connect these ancient texts with our lives and experiences today. They are offered to you without strings. Please like our facebook page for regular updates on this local faith community.
Setting the Scene
He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plough shares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.Isaiah 2:4-5
Advent is a time of preparation and waiting for the birth of Christ, but Christians also look forward to the time when Christ will come again and bring in the Kingdom of God. We live in the ‘in-between time’ – the time between the first and second coming of Jesus.
This reading from Isaiah speaks of hope in a time of expectation and anticipation. We anticipate a time when nations will no longer go to war with each other, when individuals will no longer fight each other, when God’s peace will reign supreme.
Sound like a nice ideal but a bit unrealistic or naïve? Yes it does when we live in a world when we can’t drive the car, stand in a queue, smile at someone in the street, or sit in a bus without experiencing someone else’s aggression, anger, prejudice or simple rudeness. How can the world be healed when we as individuals cannot seem to offer each other simple kindness and respect?
You are probably thinking right now about an incident that happened to you in the last few weeks. Instead of looking outside, let’s explore within ourselves. Think of an incident recently when you could have been kinder, you could have responded differently, you could have shown more respect. Perhaps a shop assistant, in a car park, with a fellow traveller. Stay with that memory for a moment, then read the prayer.
Help us to turn our personal swords, with which we hurt others, into instruments of peace.
Help us turn our weapons of destruction into means of creation.
Perhaps our weapons are our hands or our tongues or our indifference.
Open our eyes and hearts to those around us and the impact we have on others.
We pray in the name of the Prince of Peace,