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The Bulletin Insert Sunday 4th December,2016 How do we find Shalom(God’s peace) in a violent world?

Lismore Anglican Parish Bulletin Insert   Sunday 4th December 2016  Advent 2A

How Do We Find Shalom (God’s Peace) In A Violent World?

The dream of shalom may seem like a fantasy in a world at war, where violence and atrocities are daily committed, often in the name of God, and a world in which so many issues divide us so strongly – “pro-life” or “pro-choice”, “liberal” or “conservative”, “creationist” or “evolutionist”, “capitalist” or “socialist”, “pro-gay” or “anti-gay”, “rich” or “poor”.

It’s tempting to define the world in clear terms like this, but when we do, we limit our understanding and deepen the bitterness between us, which keeps us all from knowing and living God’s shalom (peace).

Ultimately justice is not something that can be achieved by alienation and by taking sides. While there are real evils in the world that must be resisted, it is wise to remember Paul’s words that it’s not the people we fight so much as the “principalities and powers”, and as we embrace a shalom way of being – which includes loving even those who are difficult – perhaps even our enemies – we reflect the light of God’s grace and love, and we begin to bring God’s shalom into our world as a lived reality. In what ways can you opt out of the polarising habits of your culture and embrace a shalom-bringing inclusiveness that welcomes all and that seeks and celebrates common ground wherever it may be found?

 

Adapted from http://sacredise.com/lectionary/2016/11/advent-2a/#more-272

 

Isaiah 11: 1-10   The Peaceful Kingdom

1A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. 2 The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. 3 His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; 4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. 5Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins. 6 The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. 7 The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den. 9 They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.10 On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.

 

Psalm 72: 1-7, 18-19   Prayer for Guidance and Support for the King

Of Solomon: 1Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king’s son. 2 May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice.

3 May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness.

4May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.

5 May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations. 6 May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth. 7 In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound, until the moon is no more.

18 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. 19 Blessed be his glorious name for ever; may his glory fill the whole earth.

Amen and Amen.

 

Romans 15: 4-13

4For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. 5May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, 6so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. 8For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, ‘Therefore I will confess you among the Gentiles, and sing praises to your name’; 10and again he says, ‘Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people’; 11and again, ‘Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples praise him’; 12and again Isaiah says, ‘The root of Jesse shall come, the one who rises to rule the Gentiles; in him the Gentiles shall hope.’ 13May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Matthew 3: 1-12   The Proclamation of John the Baptist

31In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, 2‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 3This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, ‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” ’ 4Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, 6and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 7 But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bear fruit worthy of repentance. 9Do 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. 10Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 ‘I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12His winnowing-fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing-floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.’