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Above: This was in the olive groves that surround the Church of All Nations in Jerusalem…I took this picture specifically because I wanted to post it on this day, the Advent Sunday of Peace.

The truth is that I arrived home 3 days ago. But today I feel like I am finally, truly home. I think it has something to do with having worshiped with the folks of St. Andrew’s Brampton this morning. Sitting in the sanctuary – bawling my eyes out every time one of the Christmas carols mentioned “Jerusalem” or “Bethlehem” – I felt the love and support of my community of faith. And what better thing to be welcomed home by?

I found myself thinking of that night in Bethlehem, when the Christ Child was born. He came into this world in a place that was not home – not for him, not for his parents. He came here having left his home – heaven. And he did that for us. To teach us that love means showing up, being present.

The children of our church presented worship this morning. Their pageant was simply the telling of the Christmas story, but it was done with heart. The worship of children has always been a very moving thing for me.

So on this Advent Sunday of Peace, I am thankful for the peace that comes from belonging with other people who believe in Jesus. I am thankful for the faith of our children. I am thankful for the witness of all who participated this morning. And most of all, I am thankful that love shows up in the form of a child born in Bethlehem who changed everything.

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 NLT

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