Advent - the Season of Peace
Advent Week 2
This week we light the second candle on the Advent wreath.
“We light this candle in peace; Jesus is our peace.”
Luke 1:68-70; 76-79
"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a mighty savior for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old...
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins. By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."
"In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,
'The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'"
Peace understood as the absence of visible conflict is not enough.
Peace understood as an external force exerting its power on us is not enough.
Peace understood as attainable by sheer determination of our will is not enough.
Peace understood as personal contentment is not enough.
Peace must be more if our world and our lives are to be truly transformed.
The peace the Advent of the Christ Child brings is more. This peace breaks through our fractured existence and births wholeness, completeness, shalom, peace. This is a peace for all of creation and for every creature. This peace is the way of the Lord where all things are brought together and there is no more division. It is God's peace that fills every valley; makes low every mountain and hill; straightens all crooked paths; smooths the ways that are rough. This is the salvation of God for all.
This Advent, may our prayer be that God would "guide our feet into the way of peace."
This week, make a list of those people and situations in your life, your neighborhood, and your world that need peace.
Make a second list throughout the week of places where you see or experience peace.
Consider how you might be someone who brings and witnesses to peace.
Find a service project to participate in that gives birth to peace.
Shopping, shopping, and more shopping. Christmas Benevolence needs your help shopping with our neighbors. There are opportunities this week.
Check out all of the opportunities to serve throughout December at www.secondchurch.org/cb.