Good morning all!
Luke 1:68-79 (NRSV)
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a mighty savior for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us. Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins. By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
This morning at McMinnville Cooperative Ministries we will be talking about what it means for God to guide our feet into the way of peace as Zechariah sings in the above scripture. If you are coming to the earlier service at the CoOp this is a bit of a spoiler. For the rest of you, we will be talking about how when Zechariah sings of peace he means more than what we see on the Christmas card. In biblical terms it actually means more of a complete wholeness. The term is Shalom and it goes way beyond just the absence of struggle. For Jesus later it meant the presence of love instead. For the people of the bible it means a wholeness that is peace…beyond war with others, it has to do with resolving war in ourselves.
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.