“All I Want is Peace”

All I Want is Peace.

I was asked the other day how I was doing. I told my therapist, “All is want is peace.” Then, I began to cry.

It isn’t easy being a pastor today. It certainly isn’t made an easier by the concerns over COVID and returning after a 3-year pandemic. It isn’t made any easier with the financial pressure from folks not giving on a regular basis and the increased upkeep on the building and land. No, we don’t have a magic answer to get people to re-engage with faith and church again, but we sure are trying very hard.

This fall we brought back so many events: pumpkin and auction and a concert, too. We added a Wine and Scarecrow event and this weekend we will bless all critters great and small with our annual St Francis Day Feast! We revamped Faith Formation for our children and noted Author celebrity author, Brain McLaren, will be coming November 5th! We really are trying hard, but it isn’t easy.

I hope the recent changes to the Sanctuary will help bring people back more fully. I pray that as we also launch Fellowship again this month that you might all come and stay and engage with one another and see the face you missed. I hope you will find happiness and balance, as I hope for myself, too, with faith and family and all the things that pull and distract us every day. Yes, it is easier to stay in bed on Sunday, but what does that say of us? What will we say to Him when we meet face to face? ‘Sorry, Jesus, we just gave up on our faith.’ ‘We didn’t have time to go to Mass.’ ‘We decided that faith wasn’t important.’ ‘We walked away, but please give us another chance?’

I don’t know about you but lately between congress and the world and all the bad things that I see every day on the news, I am tired. Yes, all I want is peace.

Whether you like Donald Trump or not, I watched this week as he once again ‘railed against the wind’ and courts and judges and detractors. I watched his eyes in the courtroom and on camera. I watched as he threw up his arms and yelled. I watched as he threatened and yelled and clinched his fists. Then, for just a moment, even though this is a world of his own making, I felt sorry for him.

Do you know what it must be like to be Trump? What horror it must be to know that every single day you wake up and every night you try to fall asleep that you will never have any peace. How hard it must be to navigate 91 criminal counts, 4 or more criminal cases, a slew of fraud and civil cases, lawyers and media and threats and lies. Oh my God, I would not make it a day! How sad it must be to know that you will spend the rest of your life navigating courts and hatred all the while you lost your family; you lost your peace.

Pope offered three proposals about why the witness of St. Francis is relevant today. First, Francis demonstrated “that being a Christian means having a living relationship with the person of Jesus; it means putting on Christ, being conformed to him.” Second, Francis explained “that everyone who follows Christ receives true peace, the peace that Christ alone can give, a peace which the world cannot give.” Third, Francis’ witness encourages us “to respect all that God has created, and that men and women are called to safeguard and protect, but above all … to respect and love … every human being”. You cannot do much of that without church. You can’t do it without peace within your soul.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want that kind of life. I don’t need to be rich or powerful. What I do want is my beautiful family, and my abiding faith, my God and my church. All I want is peace.

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