Tuesday, December 6th

Blame: to find fault with; censure; to hold responsible; to place responsibility for

Bless: to hallow or consecrate by religious rite or word; to invoke divine care for; to speak well of; approve; to confer prosperity or happiness upon

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)

Yes, we will have trouble. Oh my, in his own life Jesus knew this very well.

And when problems arise, our Advent Peace comes through these words of Jesus, “Take heart! I have overcome the world.” We can trust the guidance of his words and life as we attempt to resolve the troubles of our world today…

Throughout the gospel stories, we read how Jesus was always working to make the better difference as often as possible. In his short life, he taught, led, corrected, healed, fed, or comforted most everyone he encountered. In his ultimate blessing, as he was suffering on the cross, Jesus didn’t yell, “I blame all of you for this!” but instead, quietly prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know…” (Luke 23:34). In doing so, Jesus brought about the best and greatest good for all of humanity.

As we confront problems, this Advent Peace guides us to ask the question,

“What will bring about the greater good – fault finding or difference making?”

With each challenging issue we encounter, we may be tempted to find a culprit to blame. Certainly, we need to discern the source of the problem, but if we stop there, the problem will never be fixed. And many troubles have more than one source, along with an abundance of complex solutions. Placing blame becomes our easiest response; we then assign the burden of responsibility to someone else.

The Advent Peace from Jesus turns our intention toward blessing more than blaming. When we follow the example of Jesus, we stop pointing and begin taking responsibility for one another. We stop blaming and begin serving in the ways we can. We stop naming the problem and begin resolving it.

John Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism, has succinctly instructed: “Do no harm. Do good. Stay in love with God.” His words are wise. When life goes wrong, we may wish to blame others, ourselves, or even God. When we do, we are being harmful – and we certainly are doing no good. To stay in love with God, we also stay in love with others, as well as ourselves.

God created this world for us all. We share this global community; we are responsible for one another. When we encounter trouble, Advent Peace gives us the answer when we ask,

“What will bring about the greater good – fault finding or difference making?”

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. (Hebrews 6:10 NIV)

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Bible passages taken from
Photo by Karen


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