O my God, in you I trust;
let me not be put to shame;
let not my enemies exult over me.
 Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame;
they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
 Make me to know your ways, O LORD;
teach me your paths.
 Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.
 Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
 Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!
 Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
 He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
 All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
 For your name's sake, O LORD,
pardon my guilt, for it is great.
 Who is the man who fears the LORD?
Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
 His soul shall abide in well-being,
and his offspring shall inherit the land.
 The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him,
and he makes known to them his covenant.
 My eyes are ever toward the LORD,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
 The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
bring me out of my distresses.
 Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.
 Consider how many are my foes,
and with what violent hatred they hate me.
 Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!
Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
(Psalm 25:1-20 ESV)
courtesy of ESV Bible
Today all around the world people are lighting the second candle in their Advent wreath. The first candle lit last Sunday represented, Hope and Anticipation. The candle of the second Sunday is representative of, Peace and Preparation.
As I think of the word "peace" today, I am reminded of all the many wars going on all over the world. I can visualize men, women and children of all ages, hovering in fear, hungry, cold, sick, laying in a hospital maimed and fleeing their home lands in desperation, seeking peace and safety.
I think today upon the thousands of our troops and their families. I can visualize a young mother or father, alone here at home, two or thee small children, lighting the candle of peace in their Advent Wreath, not knowing if their spouse is is laying somewhere maimed or dead in a distant, faraway land.
I think today upon all people here, in America, homeless, living and begging on the streets, cold and deprived of simple human dignity. They are scattered all over America: living and sleeping in dark, damp and dangerous alley ways, living in woods surrounding truck stops, huddled in parks, and yes, some even living down inside the bellies of our largest cities. They emerge in the daylight hours from these places striving to survive yet another long day. There is no country, no matter how prosperous, that does not have homeless and desperate people in need of a helping hand.
I can see, and, yes even hear, the thoughts of some, who would look down on the poor souls around the world and here at home in America. You know the words: "lazy bums," "good for nothing drunks,""drug addicts," etc.... Most of us have seen people shouting out of their car window as they pass someone begging for food or work, "Get out of my way you stupid loser!". In other words, "I don't have time to reach out my hand even for a second to help a fellow living human being--my brother according to God. You are not exempt from this fellowship of brotherhood--even if you don't believe in God. There is no way around the fact, no matter what you believe about creation, that we are all connected!
So I make a plea today that we all pray for peace and seek it. Don't just do it for a few weeks as Christmas approaches. Pray, search your hearts and souls continually, have sympathy for those who are suffering at this very second. It matters not how the suffering came about. Blame is not the answer for peace. To blame is to give ourselves an excuse to turn our eye away.
This is not the way of the Lord Jesus, whom we are to emulate here on earth, as much as humanly possible. He carried many burdens in His brief time here in this earthly world. He knew His destiny, and still walking steadfastly, He reached out to the least among the people and His light shined forth, spreading hope, love, and charity with every single step.
He knew His destiny full well, yet He never failed to march. Even so, He, the Son of God, King of Kings, kept himself prepared for this destiny by being ever mindful of God, His Heavenly Father, as He continually prayed for strength, endurance and understanding.
Until this world is no more, it is extremely important that we too remain diligent in prayer and seek God's grace at all time Through good times and bad, we must always be prepared for our destiny and act in a manner that pleases God. We too, just as Jesus did, must continue down the road of life given to us and also spread love, hope and charity.
to have meant not the absence of
struggle, but the presence of love".
Frederick Buechner Beyond Words
If I Can Dream
~Peace of the Lord from our home to yours...~