To Know Peace
We’ve come so far in search of light, hope, peace, joy, and love. We’ve waited, trying to be as Advent-y as possible. We can sense the promise: God-with-us is nearly here. We are close. We can hear the melody, faintly.
And in comes Isaiah with fierce judgment for post-exilic Israel. He proclaims that their nation has become poisonous – filled with venom that begets venom – and death has been loosed in the community. If God seems absent, they needn’t speculate about God’s power or ability to hear their cries. The distance felt is of their own creation through cruelty, injustice, and violence against the powerless. The result of this sin is that they do not know peace.
Not knowing peace is a nightmare to consider when the waiting is nearly complete. I am aching for peace. I could’ve sworn I’d just heard the heavenly host warming up.
Peace will come. But the nightmare is reality too.
This year has been filled with death and injustice and violence against the powerless. As a people freed from exile by a God-with-us who has hands to save and ears to hear, we reside at the intersection of peace and poison. The choir sings peace, and between the notes we hear the prophet’s call to know this peace by throwing off the fetters of cruelty that separate us from the holy.
God of the ages,
We wait. And you wait on us.
Show us your glory, that we might yearn to know your peace.
Strengthen our resolve to seek your ways of justice as they are revealed to us in Christ.
Rev. Joe Genau is the pastor of Edgewood Presbyterian Church in Homewood, Alabama.
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