Second Sunday of Advent 2017 – Light of the Wold

second Advent candle

Today we relight the candle of HOPE.
Now we light the candle for the second Sunday in Advent. This is the candle of PEACE.

As we prepare for the coming of Jesus, we remember that Jesus is our hope and our peace.

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When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

The Christmas season is full of light – sparkling lights on the Christmas tree; houses in the neighborhood decorated with lights for the coming holiday; candles flickering on the mantle; a fire in the fireplace representing warmth, comfort, and hope. These are the images of light we will hold onto this Advent season.

And we hold these images as hope not only for our own lives; but for the lives of those suffering in Palestine, Israel, the Middle East, and around the world. We remember in our prayers this week:

  • The men, women, and children who are living in Gaza; often with only a few hours of electricity per day.
  • The 60,000 internally displaced persons in Gaza still waiting for a durable housing solution since the destruction of their homes during the 2014 Gaza War.
  • The families affected by the 155 demolitions or confiscations of Palestinian owned structures in East Jerusalem and the West Bank during September and October 2016.
  • Those affected by the terrible fires throughout Israel and the West Bank that destroyed hundreds of homes, displacing tens of thousands.

We close with a prayer from The Reverend Said Ailabouni, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Chicago, Illinois:

God of mercy and compassion,
of grace and reconciliation,
pour your power upon all your children in the Middle East:
Jews, Muslims and Christians,
Palestinians and Israelis.
Let hatred be turned into love, fear to trust, despair to hope,
oppression to freedom, occupation to liberation,
that violent encounters may be replaced by loving embraces,
and peace and justice could be experienced by all.

(Source, Churches for Middle East Peace.)

 

 

 

 

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Dr. Martin Accad on the Silent Majority of Religious in the Middle East Who Want Peace

October 2014

Martin Accad, of the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Beirut, Lebanon, tells Catalyst Live of the silent majority of religious in the Middle East who want peace.

Scot McKnight – Second Advent Candle – Peace

second Advent candle

Today we relight the candle of HOPE.

Now we light the candle for the second Sunday in Advent.

This is the candle of PEACE.

As we prepare for the coming of Jesus, we remember that Jesus is our hope and our peace.

From the prophet Isaiah:

“For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
– Isaiah 9:6-7 Continue reading “Scot McKnight – Second Advent Candle – Peace”

Valerie Hudson – What Sex Means for World Peace

The article with the title above, published by Foreign Policy, raises a very important issue which, in our man-made world is most often neglected. Here is the main argument:

Using the largest extant database on the status of women in the world today, which I created with three colleagues, we found that there is a strong and highly significant link between state security and women’s security. In fact, the very best predictor of a state’s peacefulness is not its level of wealth, its level of democracy, or its ethno-religious identity; the best predictor of a state’s peacefulness is how well its women are treated. What’s more, democracies with higher levels of violence against women are as insecure and unstable as nondemocracies. Continue reading “Valerie Hudson – What Sex Means for World Peace”

Abraham’s Children – A Call to Living in Peace

Can devoted Jews, Christians, or Muslims remain true to their own fundamental beliefs and practices, yet also find paths toward liberty, tolerance, and respect for those of other faiths?

Preorder the book here.

Fifteen influential practitioners of the Abrahamic religions address religious liberty and tolerance from the perspectives of their own faith traditions. Former president Jimmy Carter, Rabbi Arik Ascherman, Indonesia’s first democratically elected president, Abdurrahman Wahid, and the other writers draw on their personal experiences and on the sacred writings that are central in their own religious lives.

Offering a counterbalance to incendiary religious leaders who cite Holy Writ to justify intolerance and violence, the contributors reveal how tolerance and respect for believers in other faiths stand at the core of the Abrahamic traditions.

Hugh Mann – Peace Poetry

I have received today through email, out of the blue, an unusual, even fascinating message, that I am going to share with you. The author, Hugh Mann, is an American  doctor and a poet. Here is his message. I cannot agree more with it.

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Religions are based on scripture, which is mostly poetry. So it only makes sense that religious conflict must be resolved through poetry, and not through politics, negotiation, or war. I propose that all religious conflicts be redefined poetically, so that they can be resolved without bloodshed, winners, or losers. So let’s sharpen our pencils, not our swords; send missives, not missiles; and apply our minds to metaphor, simile, rhyme, meter, and prosody, but not pomposity, animosity, ferocity, atrocity, or monstrosity.

Best regards,
Hugh Mann
http://organicMD.org

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In a separate message, I will share with you soon one of his poems.

Jewish Voice for Peace

Find below the text of this declaration. Continue reading “Jewish Voice for Peace”