“Commit to Christ: Peace” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell

December 5th,2019 Categories: Stephanie Kendell Letters, Weekly Letter
Beloved Church,

Blessings from the second week of Advent- the week of peace. I hope that as we prepare our hearts and minds for the Christmas season, you are taking care to also take time for yourself, for peace is also a way in which we can view preparedness. As the wider church prepares for this coming Sunday’s worship, we want to make sure that you are aware of a few things. This weekend is full of exciting activities. Saturday we are hosting a Multilingual Worship and the Arts workshop starting at 10am. It is a free event and will be an excellent opportunity to see the vision we as a community have cast together through our commitment to multilingual worship. Email Rev. Jeanette with any questions. The second is our YASS Christmas Party held at 3pm after worship. Everyone is invited. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or just show up- the more the merrier! Finally, make sure our 11pm worship is on your calendar for Christmas Eve. This candlelight service is a moving celebration of the birth of Christ in our midst. We can’t wait to share this incredible service and time with you.

As I mentioned earlier this week in advent is the week of peace. And while often peace has a chill vibe, easy going-settled- feel to it, it can also be the state from which we feel our growth. Because peace is not the natural state of being for most of us. Peace is being ready- prepared. Peace is something that comes from hard work, personal growth, and more often than not- spiritual upheaval. And that is just where we find ourselves this week in our scripture. Let’s read together from the book of Matthew and see where we can trace the path of growth to a place of peace.

7 When he saw that many of the Pharisees and Sadducees were coming to be baptized, John said to them, “You pack of snakes! Who told you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Give some evidence that you mean to reform!  9 And don’t pride yourselves on the claim, ‘Sarah and Abraham are our parents.’ I tell you, God can raise children for Sarah and Abraham from these very stones!
(Matthew 3:7-9)

So, in comes John the Baptist with his camel hair apparel, eating bugs, and calling us snakes. He makes the call for baptism for everyone and peacefulness in your spirit- assuredness in God’s faithfulness,leads you to the waters…and again you are met by the sight of wild John the Baptist. I know I would have questions. How is he the one chosen to baptize Jesus? It surely is a call to make us stop and think. And yet he not only baptizes all who come to him, but Jesus as well. All in the same way. All in the same waters. All cleansed in body and spirit. Is that the peace we are after? I think so.

Friends, this season of advent, we will grow to and from places of peace. We will show up to events expecting Jesus and being met with John and we will be thrown off a bit. But look around, Jesus is in the water with you. Preparing you for something new. Bringing you new spaces of peace.

Shalom Y’all,
Rev. Stephanie

A quick prayer for your week: God, I grow with you and toward you in all things I do. Amen