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Today is the 22nd Day of December 2012.  The nonsense of the end of the world has been proven to be just that–nonsense.  Today we are reminded of what Jesus told his disciples about the end of the world, that there would be wars and rumor of wars, and disasters and calamities and those would be the signs that the end was near, but that the day and the hour was known only by God.  

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In the meantime we are meant to continue to faithfully serve and follow God, and bringing to him all those who are still in the need of salvation.  The desire of the nations, even if they don’t realize it yet, is to know and love God and to know and receive God’s love in return.   This is the only way to true and lasting peace in our lives and in our world.  This is what we are reminded of in the final verse of the hymn O Come O Come Emmanuel…

Oh come Desire of Nations, bind
all peoples in one heart, one mind
bid envy, strife and discord cease,
and be thyself our source of peace, 
Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to thee O Israel.

Let us pray for the peace and salvation of the world….

Direct our hearts in your ways of peace
Encourage us to share the good news that our salvation is near at hand
Send the gift of Christ, to every heart
Invest your Spirit in the hearts of every national leader, that they may work together for peace
Remove the barriers of race, clan or religion, and unite us as one in Christ
Energize us all in your love and fill us with the desire to work for peace.

Open our  hearts
Fill our lives with your grace

Now and forever O God, we belong to you
And we vow to be your servants and the agents of your love
Today, tomorrow  and forever singing your praises and announcing your kingdom
Immanuel, God with us, fill us with your Spirit
Open the way for peace, joy, and love to come to earth and remain
New gift of heaven, eternal gift of love
Spirit of power, we are yours forevermore.  Amen.