What peace is found in those words. As the Church draws near to the Nativity of Our Lord, many also draw near to the harsh reality of broken families and friendships. The sting of estrangement intensifies in this season as many delight in family gatherings—a delight that is glaringly absent for others.
We long for reconciliation—a marriage healed, the return of a prodigal child, the open arms of a formerly harsh parent. Advent is just the season for reconciliation. It is a penitential season, calling us to examine ourselves, acknowledge our sin with contrition, and trust that our sin is forgiven for the sake of Christ. Such self-examination reveals that the fault for our broken relationships is not one-sided. The sin visited upon me by another has driven a wedge between us, but so has my sin. Part of the distance between me and others is due to my sinful actions—my sinful refusal to forgive, my sinful pride that will not admit my fault, my sinful contentment with a cold shoulder.
Advent calls us to repent of our divisions. Advent calls us to rejoice in reconciliation. Though you can forgive another even when he refuses to acknowledge his fault, reconciliation is found when both parties are willing to admit their fault, seek forgiveness, and amend their ways. That can seem so difficult. It is hard enough for one sinner to confess his sin and trust that the Lord purges it from his life. How much more challenging it is for two sinners to do so. Yet that is exactly what Christ works among and within us. He grants us confidence in His forgiveness so that we forgive one another, receive one another’s forgiveness, and are thus reconciled.
That is the glorious, biblical proclamation found in “The Quempas Carol”, an early church Christmas hymn. We are blessed to hear therein the refrain, God’s own Son is born a child . . . ; God the Father is reconciled. This is not wishful thinking driven by our longings. It is reality driven by Christ.
You are reconciled to the Father.
Welcome to the hopeful season of Advent.
Christ is Risen! He is Risen, Indeed! Alleluia!
Come to Holy Cross – Jesus is here – for you!
Your Servant in Christ our Lord,
Pastor Jeffrey Stone
Proverbs3 Verses 5 to 6.  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us... Hebrews 12:1