The Holiday season is wrapping up. The decorations are coming down. The frenetic pace (maybe) is lifted. Now we get to settle in for the long winter. As we do, let us take one more moment to look back at what God has been telling us as a congregation. During Advent and Christmas, we examined the idea of Peace On Earth. A phrase that we hear over and over during the holidays. But a concept that is often elusive to us. Here are some of the truths that we examined that might help us to receive and live with this very important blessing of peace in our lives.
- Peace = Wholeness or Completeness. This is in contrast to how the world defines peace as the absence of conflict or dissonance.
- Bad stuff happening does not mean that God is failing (or that peace is not happening).
- When winter arrives and the world feels desolate… look for signs from God that restore hope. Finding these signs helps us to reorient ourselves and our lives back to God.
- We keep waiting for God to change our lives… maybe God wants to change our hearts.
- We make room in our hearts for God by making room in our lives to love people.
- Peace comes when we stop listening to how the world describes us and accept the truth of scripture concerning how God describes us.
- Allow yourself to be amazed by the story of Jesus.
- Don’t look for God in buildings, events, or circumstances. Look for God in people and in relationships.
- Glorifying God is not just the proper response to the Christmas miracle – it is the process that brings change/peace/joy/love/hope into our lives.
- As we pour out our bitterness, God pours in peace. Bitterness it seems is the antithesis to peace. It must be removed (by us or by God) if peace is to reign in our lives.
Quote of the week
“So God throws open the door of this world—and enters as a baby. As the most vulnerable imaginable. Because He wants unimaginable intimacy with you. What religion ever had a god that wanted such intimacy with us that He came with such vulnerability to us? What God ever came so tender we could touch Him? So fragile that we could break Him? So vulnerable that His bare, beating heart could be hurt? Only the One who loves you to death.” -Ann Voskamp
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