A Message from our Parochial Vicar - December 8, 2013
The Kingdom of heaven is close at hand. The prophets lived in the real world, not on some isolated mountaintop. They were human, and we can be pretty sure they were as deeply saddened and
dismayed by the worlds horrors and injustices as we are.
But, they weren’t afraid to dream of a new world, a world free from evil, injustice and war. Their faith in a just God helped them to remain hopeful, and enabled them to rise above their despair. They believed in the vision of the coming Messiah. They believed in the power of repentance and
Each Advent we hear in our readings from the Prophet Isaiah. Isaiah’s great vision of peace and harmony is so much more than a fairy tale. It speaks of the longing in our hearts, and it reminds us of the longing of God for us. “And the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb and the leopard shall lie down with a young goat; the calf and the lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them” (Is 11:6).
So our work is set before us. And we do well to keep Isaiah’s vision of the peaceable kingdom alive in our hearts and in our lives. I know it challenges us. It’s meant to!
We accept the challenge when we forgive a friend or neighbor, a family member. We accept the challenge to build up God’s kingdom when we act in kindness and bring a smile to someone’s face, show compassion to someone who is lost or alone or suffering, when we make responsible choices for the common good. In these ways and so many others, we are doing our part to make the vision of the peaceable kingdom come true. I invite you to take a moment and read some of the ways our children are striving to prepare their hearts for Jesus, to grow, to make our corner of the world a
better place, and in all of this, working toward that hope-filled vision of the peaceable kingdom. Our Religious Ed Children have written on their hearts some of their own goals and commitments for this Advent. Their hearts create a love-filled path to Jesus. Let a little child guide you as Isaiah would say. In the busyness of the season, please pause for a moment sometime this month and simply read some of the messages our children wrote. You can find their journey on the bulletin board in the vestibule of the church.
Open your hearts. Dream like the prophets. Jesus calls it the ‘Kingdom of God’ and he wants his followers to dedicate themselves to the building up of that kingdom.
It may be a struggle that we will never win, but the struggle itself is good for us. Why? Because it can awaken that which is good and precious within us. Isaiah’s vision lives on in our midst. This building up of the kingdom lives on as a task for today. It lives on as a promise for tomorrow.
I hope you know of my love and my prayers for you. I am grateful for you and for all that you do! The journey does grow long at times, and I, just like you can grow weary. Let’s keep working
together to do good, to grow, and to do our part as we prepare our hearts for Jesus, for as John the Baptist reminds us, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!”
Be well and be blessed!
With love and prayers,