The Scripture tells us that our safety does not come from military power. The Old Testament is full of the prophets telling the people not to trust the weapons of war to protect them. There’s a clear message that hoping to find security through the military is a dangerous and false hope.
The Bible tells the people of faith that “our hope is in the name of our Lord, who made both heaven and earth.” It’s a message we desperately need to hear and to heed today.
We have the largest military budget the world has ever seen. No other country, no other 12 countries, spend as much on national defense as the United States. This is not just wrong. In a world where we have 20,000 of our human family dying daily from hunger and malnutrition, spending this amount on military defense is both abhorrent and morally repugnant.
We can end hunger in the next 15 years according to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. But we will never do it wasting hundreds of billions of dollars on wasteful, unnecessary, and sinful military spending. It’s time to trust in the Lord.
Most of us will never be in a position to give $11 million to help those in need. But everyone of us can provide hope to someone. We can all be heroes of hope.There are thousands, even millions, of ways to demonstrate the love of God to those around us. A word of encouragement can change a person’s life forever.
Helping our neighbors begins with caring enough to act. Kindness is in short supply these days. Smile more, and look for opportunities to put love into action. Providing hope for even one person is helping nudge the world in the right direction.
Become a hero of hope. The world needs more heroes.
In this Advent of expectation draw us together in unity, that our praise and worship might echo in these walls and also through our lives. In this Advent of expectation draw us together in mission, that the hope within might be the song we sing, and the melody of our lives. In this Advent of expectation draw us together in service, that the path we follow might lead us from a stable to a glimpse of eternity.
This is Advent, the season of preparation. The shops are full of gifts that we might give or receive. Streets are decorated and choirs begin the rounds of community centres and retirement homes with their seasonal offerings of carols. As we prepare, we remember another, John the Baptist, who came to prepare the Jewish people for the arrival of Jesus. John, who would prepare a way through a call to repentance, so that hearts and souls would be ready to receive the One who was to come.
Father God, prepare our hearts not only for the celebration to come, but also for sharing that Good News with friends, family and work colleagues should opportunity arise. Grant us courage and a real willingness to talk about the love that came down to earth and walked among us. Amen
The only constant in life is change. We’ve all heard that, but few of us have internalized it to the point where change is no longer threatening.
Embracing change rather than fearing it is the first step to understanding that our life is meant to be an adventure. Tolstoy has it absolutely correct. We need to live on the edge, always looking forward to the next opportunity to see and experience what is on the other side.
As long as we live we will be immersed in change. And that’s o.k. That’s as it should be. Accept it.
As Tolstoy reminds us, “As long as there is life, there is happiness.” And that is the one thing that doesn’t change