Dear friends,

I love sharing quotes in certain circumstances, but I often forget who said what and how they said it exactly.  That is why I rarely share quotes unless I can research them for accuracy.  Either Abraham Lincoln or Mark Twain said, “Better to remain silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”  There are times when I do not heed these words and have lived to regret it.  Thankfully God’s grace is there for me when these times come.

We are now at the second week of Advent, the week of Peace. Many people try to define peace but like many things in life it is difficult to describe.  I have heard quotes about what peace is and in looking up who said what I found this weblink where some writers define their thoughts; “Peace is not the absence of (fill in the blank) but instead it is (fill in the blank) ….”  As nice as these saying are, are they enough in today’s complex world?  Peace seems in limited supply as we read and hear about hostility in our homes, our schools, our politics, and beyond our borders.  Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”  (John 14:27) These words from Jesus help me to feel peace.  In other words, we cannot experience peace unless we have God’s peace, and without God’s peace we have limited capabilities for achieving peace in the world.

In Paul’s letter to the Romans he writes, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.” (Rom. 14:4) This week we will look at Romans 15:4-13 to see what was written and how it can help bring peace to us and to others in these complicated times.

As we share in this Season of Hope I pray you experience peace, the true peace of Christ.

Faithfully yours,

 P.S.  Don’t forget to come and share your peace with Kris Nieder this Sunday morning at the Pancake Breakfast as we thank her for all her good work over the past five years.