Monday, December 10, 2012
Second Week of Advent: Peace
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:6-7
He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. Ephesians 2:17
This week we light the candle of Peace. In the same way that we celebrated Hope last week we look at what Christ has done to bring peace and also what he will do in the future. Christ made peace by breaking down the “dividing wall of hostility” and bringing people together. He assembled a team of disciples and followers from every category of life and political opinion; rich and poor, male and female, liberal and conservative. They disagreed, bickered and argued but were held together by loyalty to the person of Jesus and his coming kingdom. As his followers today we have much to learn if we want to fully inhabit the kingdom he is making here on earth.
Peace is something that we do not often experience. We wrestle with ourselves internally, we struggle to maintain relationships, we bicker over politics and we watch the world tear itself apart over scraps of land. We can’t seem to get along. Oftentimes when we think of peace we see it as an ideal that cannot be achieved; especially when those people are involved.
As we light the candle and celebrate the Peace of Christ I want us to think about those people. You know, the people that are keeping you from peace. Maybe they are a critical relative who always mentions your waste line each family dinner. Maybe they are a particular political party whose members have infiltrated your family or church. Maybe they are long out of your life but their words still give you sleepless nights. Whoever they are think about on how Christ can bring peace between you. When you think about all the things those people have done; ask for the grace to forgive. When the desire to throw egg nog in their face almost overcomes you try and remember that they are not those people to Christ. They are loved by him too. He is the Prince of Peace who has brought many together as members of his household. This Christmas may we become peacemakers in our homes, families and social networks and seek to tear down the walls that divide us.
Lord as we look forward to celebrating the birth of your son may we become more peaceful people. May we see our differences as you see them and gain perspective from your radical grace and love.
When we can’t get along; remind us of your forgiveness.
When we see human misery, war and strife; show us how to be your hands and feet.
When we are at war with ourselves; show us a clear path to inner joy.
Bring peace into the troubles and trials of this life. Jesus be our peace.