Today marks the second Sunday in the Season of Advent … a day to focus on ‘peace.’ And this week, Jews around the world continue to observe Hanukkah and pray for peace. But the evening news broadcasts continue to be a not-so-gentle reminder that peace is elusive for far too many.

There is much to be learned from both the Season of Advent and Hanukkah for us all, religious or not. They can encourage us to work for, anticipate, hope and pray for peace. In the centre of the Jewish Menorah is the Shamash which is used to light the other candles of the Menorah in Hanukkah. The focus for the second week in the Season of Advent is ‘peace.’

We can “be” the Shamash. We can be the Advent candlelighter of Peace in our world.

May this gentle prayer, “I Take This Moment”, based on a prayer in the New Zealand Prayer Book, speak to the hearts, minds, souls of us all whether we be Jew, atheist, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Sikh, agnostic, Zoroastrian, Muslim or something else. May we be willing (or be willing to be willing) to entrust our fears to Holy Other, invite and welcome peace for ourselves, families, work places, government offices, streets, playgrounds, churches, and schools.

I TAKE THIS MOMENT
I take this moment
a moment for stillness
in the presence of
in the presence of the-possibility-of
Holy Other.

I acknowledge that
what has been done has been done.
What has not been done has not been done.
I let it be.

Just as the night is dark,
I choose to let fears of the darkness of the world
and of my own life rest.
Rest with the Creator.

Just as the night is quiet,
I invite the quietness of Holy Peace to enfold –
enfold all dear to us,
enfold all who experience no peace.

Just as the night heralds the dawn.
May I look expectantly to
a new day,
new joys,
new possibilities.
So may it be. Amen. So may it be.

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My friends, may peace, deep peace, be yours. May each of us be the Shamash in the world around us in some small way. And may we light an Advent Candle for Peace literally and figuratively so that each of us is a reflection and beacon of peace to others.
Shalom. Paix. Vrede. Patz. Salaam. Lapè. Hacaña. Mir. Santi. Zhi-bde. Pau. Minaggen. Hohiyi. Heddwich. Friede. Irini. Paco. Baké. Paz. Solh.  Síocháin. Shee. śānti. Udo. Friður. Rangima’arie, Nohopuku, Rongo. Vrede. Pokój. Pace. Santipap. Barış. Peace

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© June Maffin
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