This week’s article is written by Arnie Saaf, a member of Godfrey First United Methodist Church, 1100 Airport Road.
We have come through another Advent season. Four Sundays about joy, hope, love and peace. All four of these are powerful forces that can sustain us through the new year. That’s right, you read it correctly, they are forces, as in power. We can tap into these when we pray and as we follow God’s will. Let’s look at each in this way:
Hope: Iris and I received a little note card (we’re not sure from whence it came) that says, “Of all the forces that make for a better world, none is so powerful as hope. With hope, one can think, one can work, one can dream. If you have hope, you have everything.”
Joy: Happiness is fine, but joy is much more powerful. Through joy, one’s exuberance becomes viral. It energizes those around you. It empowers one to joyfully share the Good News with them. It overcomes the hesitation that holds us back.
Love: Much has been written about love: “Love conquers all.” “Love makes the world go round.” “All I need is love.”
And so on. It is the power that Christ talked about the most ... and urged us to practice it. It was to be the sign to the world of Christian living ... “You will be known by your love.” It is indeed the power behind Christian living. Peace: This force is a gift from God. This is not the absence of war ... it is the “peace that passeth all understanding.”
When I was just a kid, I would ask my Dad what he wanted for Christmas. He always would answer “peace.” I didn’t understand then, but I do now. He meant peace of mind, heart and soul ... God’s peace.
If God were to send us a New Year’s greeting, I think it might be that we be hopeful, joyful, full of love and peace throughout 2016.