NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2023
This Sunday is the Second Sunday in Advent. The assigned text from Isaiah and Mark tells us “Prepare the way of the Lord.” Whether spoken to Israel facing life after years of as a conquered & displaced people centuries ago, or us facing life with grief after personal losses or challenging times today; we are promised “Every valley shall be lifted, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. (Isaiah 40:4)
This one is personal for me. It brings me a measure of comfort and clarity as I find myself “Waiting with Peace” through the valley of losses my family is experiencing in 2023. Another cousin died on Wednesday. As a Pastor, I have often helped folks navigate the trauma of family deaths. Right now, I’m having to navigate the trauma of 11 family deaths this year that includes my sister, Lula.
This quote by Eckhart Tolle that I came across again this week helps. “You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.” I cannot rearrange the circumstances of my relatives’ deaths, but I can recognize and realize who I am at the deepest level. As such, I know I’m God’s child. God has NOT promised me peace from the trials, nor the eventualities of life and death. But Jesus did promise to be with me as I face them. This is giving me strength, comfort, and hope, at my deepest level, while “Waiting with Peace” through this awful storm of deaths within my family. And if it can do it for me, it can do it for you as well.
Join us on this Second Sunday of Advent, in-person, by Zoom, Facebook Livestream, or YouTube. My sermon is “Advent 2: Waiting with Peace,” based on “Isaiah 40:1-5, II Peter 3:13-15a, and Mark 1:1-8.”