December 3, 2017

Advent 2017

"Peace through Change" 

When change takes place, what is gained - what is lost? How can appropriate change make a positive, long-term impact? 

These are two questions I wrote in a journal I was given at a conference four years ago. Our congregation was at the same threshold First Baptist Church is today. We were searching for a new spiritual leader after the retirement of our priest of twenty-one years. A big transition was about to take place. 

For some, change is like a breath of fresh air you have longed to breathe. For others, the sense of uncertainty is painfully acute at every turn. What do we do next? What is the best course to follow? Who will we get? 

Mary and Joseph must have asked each other similar questions. Mary trusted in God and the angel's message to her. Joseph also trusted that God would be with them, and in his love for Mary. Joseph and Mary show us how faith can keep us focused in the changes life brings to us. They lost innocence and were the targets of ridicule in their community, yet they continued to love God and each other in the face of many difficulties. 

The birth of the Christ child fulfilled prophecy and continues to bring us hope today. God coming to us in human form brought change to the world. This lasting change is the foundation of our faith. Loving God and each other will give the peace that Mary and Joseph found. This peace is the gift we receive from God each day as appropriate and long-term positive changes take place. 

 -- Sheila Ferrell

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