Let It Begin With Me – Pastor Bob’s December Message
“One summer evening in 1955, a group of 180 teenagers of all races and religions, meeting at a workshop high in the California mountains locked arms, formed a circle and sang a song of peace. They felt that singing the song, with its simple basic sentiment – 'Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me,' helped to create a climate for world peace and understanding.”
The words above were spoken by Sy Miller, who along with his wife Jill, wrote the song, “Let There Be Peace on Earth” in 1955. For me personally, the most poignant words of the song are in this verse:
Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now.
With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow:
To take each moment, and live each moment with peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.
These words are both inspiring and difficult to hear, most significantly the words, “Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now.” Now if I say, “I will strive to bring Christ-like peace every aspect of my life,” It’d be foolish for me to believe that worldwide peace would spread in a matter of days or weeks. But it’d also be foolish for me to believe that a peace-less, grace-less, mercy-less approach to life would bring me a life worth living, much less reflect the teachings of Jesus Christ, who I claim as my Lord and Savior.
Yet, I do believe that I can influence and even change the circumstances around me if I strive to bring Christ-like peace to every aspect of my life. And if I can’t change my circumstances, I can be more faithful to my commitment to have the heart and mind of Christ. To me, that’s what Christmas is about – having the heart and mind of Christ. That changes my world view, and my response to the world. So, this, dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, is my Christmas prayer for the family of Peace Lutheran Church:
Living and Eternal Lord,
May your Holy Spirit lead each of us to grow in our Christ-likeness, growing away from self-serving greed and negativity and toward seeing each person we encounter – especially our fellow members of Peace Lutheran Church – as Children of God worthy of our time, grace, and love. Remind us constantly – all year long – of the unearned and life-changing love of Christ, and the twofold manner of that love: First, that it is given to free us from guilt, shame, and the power of sin; and second, that it functions most fully when we generously share it in word and deed. Thank you for the Unspeakable Gift of the Newborn King, and until he arrives again in glory, may all we do and say be done in His Loving, Gracious Name. Amen.
Blessed Christmas to all!
Pastor Bob Friese, Interim Pastor