The Educational Support Organization, Inc.

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The Nourishing Place


The Nourishing Thought:  Peace is not something you with for;  it is something you make, something you do, something you are, and something you give away. 

Words of Wisdom:  Peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. 

Each one of us must find peace from within, for there is the power and majesty of life.

Sermon, December 9, 2018 Second Sunday of Advent

This is the second Sunday of Advent. The Christmas season is in full swing with carols, parties,
celebrations, musicals, family and church activities. It is probably the largest celebration left in our
churches where families participate willingly and joyfully. We can not allow that tradition to diminish.
The second Sunday of Advent is the Sunday of Peace...and what does it take for us who listen to bad
news, and experience angst and worry, to have peace? Scripture tells us that acknowledging the risen
Christ spirit and abiding by his teachings are the only way to the kind of peace we seek and need.
Repeatedly, Jesus taught “fear not, for I am with you always.” He said again and again with almost
every greeting, “peace be with you,” meaning he, as the essence of peace, is indeed with us and within
us. But sometimes we seek peace in other ways...and not nearly as effectively.

Years ago Dr. Seuss wrote a popular book entitled “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.” Those of you
with small children at the time, or grandchildren, are probably familiar with that book. But if not, let’s
remember the story. In the story there was an ugly green creature called a Grinch who lived in a cave
above the village of Whoville. The Grinch was mean the book described him as being
“cuddly as a cactus with garlic in his soul.” He was a vicious creature. This Grinch hated Christmas
and he despised anyone who celebrated Christmas. He decided to do something about his hatred...he
decided to destroy Christmas for all the happy Whovillians.

On Christmas eve while the villagers were sleeping, the Grinch broke into every house and stole
everything that had to do with Christmas...presents, food, lighted trees, stockings, and all the
decorations. It was dawn before the Grinch got back to his cave, but all the way up the hill he was
delighted he had ruined Christmas for all the happy residents of Whoville. However, that is not the end
of the story. I quote the remainder: In the morning, “Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the
small, was singing! Without any presents at all! He HAD NOT stopped Christmas from coming, it
came! Somehow or other, it came just the same! And the Grinch, with his Grinch feet ice-cold in the
snow stood puzzling and puzzling how could it be so? Why, it came without ribbons, it came without
tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags! And the Grinch puzzled three hours, till his puzzler
was sore. Then he thought of something he hadn’t thought of before. Maybe Christmas, he thought,
doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas..perhaps...means a little bit more.”

Like the Grinch, does Christmas mean more than the gifts, decorations, parties, and feasts? And if so,
what does it mean?

Perhaps it means something different for each of us, but, as Christians we realize the common
ingredient is that Christmas means something sacred, holy, more than we are, and full of mystique. The
mystique of Christmas is a bewildering truth that a baby, who grew into a holy man spreading peace
and joy in a time and place that was full of corruption, hatred and hurt, proved to be everlastingly
powerful and majestic. The forever-ness of that man and his holy teachings make it possible for us
today to live in peace and joy even in our own chaotic and unpredictable world.

I hope what each of us takes home with us today is the knowledge that through the birth, the life, the
death, and the resurrection of the man Jesus who became our risen Christ Spirit, we would learn that
our God is a God of love, a God of joy, a God of peace, and a God of power. And most importantly,
God gifted us with a son, a light of life, through whom God’s kingdom has already come to us, yet is
waiting for us to live fully as active citizens in his kingdom.

Are we those who can and will continue to live the life, the love, the joy, the peace, and power of our
Almighty God?

I pray on this day the answer is Yes. If your answer is not yet “yes,” please make it so soon. And say to
your God and your Lord, I will be who you have birthed me to be. Amen