The Pastor's Peace - December, 2011
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As we watch the news this Christmas season, we will likely be reminded of all the ways that we as Americans are divided. There are, of course, the parties — the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, the Tea Party, the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, and the Christmas party down the street to which you might or might not get invited. There are the movements, the occupy movements, the 99% movement, the 1%, and the movement up or down your retirement funds experience, if you even have retirement funds. Besides politics and money, we are divided by where we live, what we wear, how we get to where we are going, what is under the Christmas tree, our religious views, and even what kind of TV we like to watch, just to name a few.

It seems so hard to believe that we have anything in common any more with all this division about. I have read articles recently that suggest people are further dividing themselves, choosing their friends and even where they live based upon people with whom they agree. Gone are the days when you were forced to get along with your neighbors and family because they were the only people you would or could contact. As we lead up to Christmas. we wait in the season of Advent, literally. Advent is a season of waiting. We wait
for what we don’t have. We wait for what we feel the world needs; we wait for what we yearn for the most. For me, I am waiting for commonality this Advent. I am waiting for a realization that we all have more in common than we do not.

Is it silly to wish that people come together in this atmosphere of separation? I think not. After all, I with everyone else am waiting for the coming of Christ, the coming of God’s light into the world. When Jesus came into the world, as he does for us each Christmas, who did he come for? I don’t think he came for the Tea Party, or Democrats, or the 1%, or the 99% even. He came for the 100%. Christ came into the world for us all, and we are all saved in Christ. Despite everything that keeps us apart, this is one thing we all have in common. It is also perhaps the most important thing we have in common.

As we celebrate the birth of Christ this year, please try to remember what that means; try to remember that this is a light that shines on all. I am sure that there will always be things that make us different, but this Christmas, I want to have a moment when all of that fades away amidst a star over Bethlehem, the crying of a newborn baby, and the salvation of the world.

Merry Christmas and Christ’s Peace,
Pastor Brian