Approaching Peace in a World of Chaos and Violence

One lit purple candle
Close up of a purple votive candle with a blurred reflection in the background. Image licensed from Envato Elements.

We need this Peace. We need the call to be peacemakers. It's okay to experience the gifts of Advent even when the world is in pain.

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I’ve heard about some churches who are not lighting the Peace Candle this Advent. They aren’t lighting it as a sign of solidarity with war torn countries. While I understand the sentiment, I don’t agree with the action.

I wonder what makes this year different from every other Advent? There has never been a time in human recorded history without war somewhere on the planet. What makes the wars of this year different from the wars of years gone by?

Not only do I have this question, I also think we need the fragile flickering light of the Peace Candle as much as ever. We need the reminder that God is still in the world and is waiting for us to bring peace on earth, literally. God is not on any side in war, except maybe on the side of those who lives are being destroyed by violence.

We need the call to be peacemakers. We need to take responsibility for bringing about God’s peace – a peace that leaves no one out.

There will never be a time without war unless human beings make it so.

As we turn our attention toward the Peace Candle, how are you seeking peace these days – peace in our world, peace in our country, peace in our cities, peace in our homes, peace in our hearts, minds, and spirits?

It’s okay to experience the gifts of Advent even when the world is in pain. This week we seek out Hope, and on Sunday Dec. 10th Peace will be added to Hope. Our task is to seek out Hope and Peace. Soon we will add Joy and Love.

What helps keep you centered on these things this season? How can you keep the gifts of Advent centered in your life even after the season ends? Where do you go or to whom do you turn when you need Hope?

And remember, no one makes the spiritual journey to Bethlehem alone. Mary and Joseph went together as did the Magi. Even the shepherds went in a group. Let’s rely on one another as we re-awaken to Hope and reach for Peace.

About Rachael Keefe

Rev. Dr. Rachael Keefe is the pastor of Living Table United Church of Christ. She was called to Living Table in 2015 after serving in many varied ministry settings since her ordination in 1992. She holds graduate degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary and Andover Newton Seminary at Yale (formerly Andover Newton Theological School). Her ministry and leadership often center around advocacy and accessibility. Her writing has been published by Chalice Press, The Christian Century, Red Letter Christians, Working Preacher, RevGalBlogPals, and others. She is grateful to be in ministry with Living Table today.

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