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Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Dec 05, 2013 | Comments (0)


Advent III: The Christmas Peace

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for Advent III

Godly Abiding Spiritually in Jesus Changes the Meaning of What we See Worldly When Not Abiding in Jesus.

Spirituality is our innate ability to feel the difference worldly or godly thinking makes to the way scripture translates to our daily life and relationships.

All Scripture is a testimony to Jesus Christ, who is the Word of God. He is the complete revelation of God’s will of grace for salvation. Grace is the only unfailing rule of faith and practice for the Christian life.

The Gospel of grace is: rather than trying to be more faithful to become faithful, we become faithful by feeling the Faith God already has for and in us.

The Strength of Christianity is Grace

John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Another name for Jesus is "Grace". Another name for God is "Grace". We are saved by GRACE. "Love" is not Love if it is not grace. This is true for "Faith", "Hope", "Joy" and all other theological words of significance in the scripture.

Until someone experiences the grace gift in their lives, all other theological words have no real meaning. Why not begin to use the word "grace" in place of "Jesus", "God", "the Spirit", "Love" and so on? It might seem inappropriate to do so. However, until it is actually experienced it will make no sense at all.

That is what this year is all about. Grace, did you get it?

Matthew 11:2-11 What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces.

Advent is the season of preparation for Christmas. It has four Advent Sundays and two Weeks after Christmas Sundays.

In between the four and the two is Christmas Day. We can take these weeks one by one or we can see them as a total experience of Christmas. The message of the angels to the shepherds is “Peace on earth, good will to all people.”

Jesus is asking the people what did they go out into the wilderness to see in John the Baptist? It was not some prince in a palace. If they did they would be terribly disappointed. They went out to see a prophet. But the question is how do you see a prophet? What do you look for? A prophet of God is not something you see. It is something you feel. You feel they are in the Presence of God and are sharing not their thoughts, but God’s thoughts. This is what a true prophet is. You listen to what is being said because the speaker is in the Presence.

When we speak of the Peace of Christmas, the questions is there as well. What do you go to see? Are you looking at the Christmas tree, or the gifts, or the crowds or the dinner? Perhaps you see the arguments, stress and rush of the Season and dread it. Perhaps you spend more than you can afford to be able to see and to feel better. 

The Christmas season that started sometime before Halloween for many is the time to use all of our problem techniques. Especially those which do not work and have not worked for us in the past. What are we trying to change that will make us feel good. There are always some family members pushing our buttons. We must change them, get them to stop it; it is driving us nuts. What if they don’t? We can strike back, give them what they give us. How do you feel about that? Sometimes the things that provoke us do not provoke the other persons. That can really drive us nuts. What else can we do but keep on harping. Once we have harped, what good does it do to harp again? They know what they are doing and what we are doing and the keep on doing it.

We will have to change how we think about the situation. We need to get a positive thought about it. After all, Christmas is coming; let us just think good thoughts. It has always worked in the past why not now? Granted it may have worked in the past, but never worked all of the time, either. This is a time it is not working. The spigot is dripping. We are turning it, but it still can’t stop the tears.

It is the same old expression: you cannot use the same way that got you into a bad situation to get you out. Thank God there is another way. Here, we have once again tried to correct what is uncorrectable so we can be at Peace during this Season of preparation. Changing the situation is something we cannot do. We need to learn how to be in the Christmas Peace rather than try to be peaceful about it.

Christmas Peace is always in us and available to us―unconditionally and inclusively to all. We are not always in the Peace. We need to use this Advent-Christmas time to learn how to see that which is born in to us.

What did you go to see? Not the outward exterior dressing of Christmas. We come to see a Prophet. The prophet is Jesus and He is here with us now. The way you tell a prophet is to sense the Presence of God in Him. Can you sense the Presence of God in Jesus? If you can do this, you are sensing His Presence with you. We know His Presence is always with us but now we can feel His Peace. When we sense His Presence with us it means we are sensing His Presence “in” us.   Now, in His Peace what different Wisdom

do we have about or prickly situations. We find we can be in His Peace, not about the situations, but IN the situation. Here comes the Wisdom. We no longer are looking to see the Prophet. We are the prophet.

We have within us a Peace that is now ours.


THE DISCIPLE-SHIFT: The Virtual Small Group: Members share once a week with their group through the internet when a shift from being out to being in the Presence made a difference.


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