Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Nov 28, 2013 | Comments (0)

Advent II: The Christmas Peace

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

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 3:1-12 “Do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our ancestor'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.”

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.”

The Christmas Peace is not in the event of Christmas day. It is in the experience of His Presence right now. As you move into this week, grab the moment you are feeling upset, worried, unprepared, or not ready. These days come on us (all of us) over and over again. Our problem is our presumption. When we have good days, we presume they will always be there and it is, “no worries, mate”. Then come the down days. We presume that this is the norm and we let it eat us up as long as we have no hope.

Presumption: an act or instance of taking something to be true or adopting a particular attitude toward something. It is an idea that is taken to be true and often used as the basis for other ideas, although it is not known for certain.

Presumption can lead us to believe we are in God’s Peace when we are not. It can have us believe that no matter what happens we cannot and will not ever be in His Peace about certain things in the past, present or future. Presumption leads us to believe that we know how to change the unchangeable by working on it long enough or thinking about it hard enough.

We overcome our presumption by knowing as a fact, that when we are in the Presence of the Peace of God we can be at Peace under any condition. St Paul tells it like it is when he wrote in Romans 2:2, “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed.” That is what grace does. It does not make things right. It makes us right. Grace is self-correcting not correcting our-self. To be self-correcting means we do not have to do anything. Grace takes care of everything.

What we need to do on the second Sunday of Advent is stay with the truth. It is a solution. Like in math: we only have four solutions to all of math. Once we learn the discipline, we use it all the time. No one complains that there are only four solutions. No one who wants more than four. Four is enough. We do not get bored with our solutions because each problem we have calls for one of the four. Thank God there are no more. The problem itself is the challenge. Choosing the right solution is the start of the solution. We must have a problem in order to use the solution.  

Thank God there are only three solutions to all of our problems. We do not understand this because we think each problem has its own unique solution. No! Each problem has one of three solutions. It is pure presumption to think there are more than three solutions.

What is your long lasting problem? What have you done to change it? How is that working for you. Obviously, not well if you still have the problem. How have you tried to change what you think about it? It is like trying on a new coat for a special occasion. Does it fit; does it look good; does it do what you want it to do? If not, you need different coat. It all depends on how you look at it in order to feel good. What if you can’t find one?

When you can change neither the event nor the thought, you have to learn to live with it or stop presuming you know the way.

The way is to open your heart to the Christmas Peace NOW! Do it. Wonder what difference feeling this Peace that has been born into you makes now, when you think of the stress you have been under. If you do it, you get it and are free from your arrogance of presumption. It is The Way.

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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