2011 Advent Devotion- Thursday, December 1

Thursday, December 1
2 Peter 3:11-18

“But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth where righteousness is at home.”

Having served for five years as a mission co-worker with RECONCILE , a peace building organization in South Sudan, I know that people involved in peacemaking take these words of the Apostle Peter seriously. Faced with some of the “ugliness” of life, from inter-ethnic conflict, to domestic violence, to grabbing land from indigenous farmers, they long with all of their hearts for the day in which the “lion shall lay down with the lamb.”

My African colleagues at RECONCILE did not simply long for Jesus to come and make everything right—which indeed he will. They chose to confront, rather than avoid, the ugliness. They believe that the birth of Christ has ushered in the Kingdom that is “here but not yet.” Because of the unleashing of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost they trust in God’s Spirit to empower them with the strength, wisdom and grace to work courageously on issues of reconciliation, human rights and psychosocial rehabilitation. Mission personnel, the Reverends Nancy and Shelvis Smith-Mather, together with RECONCILE colleagues, seek to share the hope that the Christ Child brings in a place desperately yearning for peace.

Gracious God, Please be with the staff of RECONCILE and the Smith-Mathers, empowering them by your Holy Spirit as they work and advocate for peace and justice in the new country of the Republic of South Sudan. Amen.

Rev. Debbie Braakmsa, area coordinator, Africa, PC(USA), Louisville, Kentucky


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