December 18, 2010, Third Saturday in Advent
Scripture: Hebrews 12:14
Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.
We live in interesting times. In America, we are no longer in a position of religious superiority. Instead, we are the third largest mission field in the world. Churches from across the world are sending missionaries here to proclaim the message of Christ’s birth, life, death, and resurrection.
Part of the proclamation of the message is in how we live it out. How we reflect the glory of God in our daily actions. The author of Hebrews gets to this point, especially here in our passage for today. The author makes two claims for us that especially relevant given the world we live in: We’re called to be at peace with one another, and to live a holy life.
So, what does it mean to be at peace with everyone? It means simply to find reasons to join in community with one another. To be a people that seeks reconciliation among those whom we have hurt, and to those whom have hurt us. It means seeing Christ in each person we encounter. It means loving everyone. What challenges does that bring forth? How is God calling you to live in peace with everyone you encounter?
And we are called to strive to live a holy life. This does not be we are “holier than thou art,” this idea that we are to be better than everyone and let everyone know it. But, it means we are striving, through the Holy Spirit, to be a living example of Christ’s love. It means allowing the Holy Spirit work within us, so that we may no longer reflect the image of the world, but the image God has called each of us to live. What areas of following Christ do you need to work on? We each have an area that we struggle with, a place where God can work to bring us closer to the image God has for us.
When these two concepts are connected – peace and holiness – then we are proclaiming the Gospel not just with our words, but with our actions. On this day, especially in this season, proclaim the love of Christ, the hope of Christ, to all whom you encounter by seeking peace with your fellow brother and sister, and seeking to be more Christ like each day.
Lord, you call us to be a living witness. To be that witness you call us to live in peace with one another and to strive after the image you have for us. Lord, work in us so that we may be a glowing reflection of you love for us, and the world. In Christ Name. Amen.