Wednesday, December 19
I have always been deeply moved by the words and music of Handel’s Messiah during the Advent season. As the full choir sings about the message of the angels in relation to glorifying God and urging peace, my whole being almost trembles.
Allow me to give my own translation of Luke’s report of the angels’ song: “Glorify God real loud in the highest key and may there be peace on earth among folk who are full of good will.” The intent of these words is as relevant and up-to-date as this morning’s newspaper headlines.
I have not always known but do know now that the Biblical use of the word “peace” implies wholeness, well-being, truth, faithfulness, and righteousness. It is a “relational” concept.
Indeed, it calls for all “relational” congregations to arise on behalf of these qualities wherever that congregation goes and lives. With this image, “church” is not so much that building we visit on weekends; rather, it is that people of God who go everywhere on weekdays!
This world begs for the reality of this Advent message of wholeness. We Christians must be folk of good will and commit ourselves to wholeness in place of fracture, to grace instead of hate, to understanding instead of misunderstanding, and to the true spirit of Jesus himself instead of to the evil all around us. Peace begins where we are, and its ripples spread across the globe to bring good will everywhere.
– George Shriver