The theme of the first week of Advent in our parish is “The Promise of Peace” from last Sunday’s readings. Today’s advent verse is from Paul’s letter to the Christian community in Rome.
“Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” –Romans 14:19
Some of my earliest memories are of our dog, Fritz. He was a dachshund who drove us crazy because every time the front door opened even the smallest crack, he made a bolt for his freedom. It seems like I spent my childhood chasing that darn dog. He wouldn’t come if called; we had to pursue him.
“Let us then pursue what makes for peace.” God has given his peace; yet it is something that must be sought, chased breathlessly, frustratingly, unrelentingly. I want it to be simple, but human beings are not simple. Reconciliation is complicated. It takes work. It takes persistence. It takes seventy-seven fold forgiveness. It is a cheek turning, extra mile kind of thing. It is a towel around the waist exercise. A child in the midst enterprise.
It’s not the way of the world. It is, however, the way of the kingdom. And it is worth the chase.