Open the gates to all who are righteous;Isaiah 26:2-4
allow the faithful to enter.
You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Trust in the Lord always,
for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.
So this is it for grace and peace! Not really, but Saturday is the last day of the second week in Advent, and tomorrow our focus will be shifting to two more words.
But for today, peace is a good place to sit for a while. “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you,” the scriptures say, adding “all whose thoughts are fixed on you…”
I like that extension of the idea, the fixing of our thoughts on God. It reminds me of how we have a part to play in securing our own peace, and the practical aspect of what one translation calls a mind stayed on God.
I like that phrasing, my mind stayed on God. A steadfast mind, reads another, a mind set on God. Also – and I really like this – those with imaginations consumed by you… and, Lord, you will give perfect peace to those who commit themselves to be faithful to you.
COVID sneaks in the back door – so “Poo!!”
My fight with peace today, my distraction from having my mind fixed on God or from steadfastness, is wrapped up in the inexorable series of dominoes that fell yesterday to land my household in a sticky COVID situation.
Person A – who we do not even know – gets COVID. Person B (who visits with Person A) also comes into my parents’ home – but before Person A tests positive. Then Person B tests positive too. Immediately, my parents get rapid tests. My dad turns out to be positive, but my mum is not (yet). And, because I work so closely with my dad, inevitably I tested positive too (and, yes, we’re all fully vaccinated).
We’re all okay, asymptomatic so far. But now we cannot have anyone come in to help with my dad for a while and it’s all, 100%, on me.
The right word for all of this, nicely summed up by my friend Kathy Drake, is “poo.”
This is why Advent peace is not as simple as something that happens to us. Advent peace must be something we pursue, we claim, we ask for, we take steps to receive.
This is where, also, the grace we have been considering this week becomes important too. Grace extended, grace received, grace lived out. Grace and Peace.
As I wrote in one of this week’s earlier posts, “Grace and Peace, y’all!“