My first Advent-themed thought of the season?

The best teachers of peace are not those who have known only peace, but who cling to the hope that peace will prevail.

As I heard about the most recent mass shooting to affect our country, saw the ubiquitous media images of crime scenes, and wondered as to what such violence means for us as citizens of this  nation and of this planet, my mind turned to all of those who have worked to make peace in our fragmented world—those who grace our history books and those who do so—activists, clergy, social workers, civic leaders—without any notoriety, whose communities know their work, even if they don’t know their names.

As I thought about this, I came across a pastoral word from my colleague Rev. Chuck Blaisdell, Senior Minister of First Christian Church, Colorado Springs—words written in response to last week’s shooting, just blocks away from church:

“For tonight, through tear-stained eyes and with quavering voices, we pray for those in the midst of this horror — and even for the one who could perpetrate such evil — and we join the Psalmist in both saying “How long?” and in in affirming, even amidst evil and horror, that we will trust in God’s steadfast love (Psalm 13:5).”

His prayer, using the words of the psalmist, became my prayer as well.  May we always be peacemakers, as that is our boldest calling, as well as our deepest hope.

Join us this Sunday, as our favorite Peacemakers—our youth and children—share with us the familiar story of Christ’s birth.  If God’s love comes to us through the life of a child, who better to share that story with us than our own children?

And don’t forget the Moravian Love Feast!  This is our Christmas gift to the city of Chattanooga.  Whether this is your first experience of the feast or you’re a reliable attendee, come and share the hospitality of God’s open table with our neighbors, old friends and new.

Grateful for you,

Rev. Brandon