For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6, NRSV)
May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6 NRSV)
On Sunday, December 6, we marked the second Sunday of Advent by lighting the second candle, the Candle of Peace. Advent is a time of expectation and waiting—a season of expectant waiting. The good news is that we are not waiting wondering what will happen. We are waiting with expectant hearts, trusting the promise that God who came into the world in the person of Jesus Christ will enter our world in new ways.
If there is anything our world needs right now, it is peace. In the midst of a pandemic that has caused illness and death beyond our comprehension, and daily causes anxiety about what the future holds for us and others, we need peace to calm our hearts and get us through to the other side. In the midst of a nation divided not just by different perspectives on the same facts, but different views of what the facts are, we need peace among us to make it possible for us to engage in civil, meaningful discourse about what we must do together to live into the Lord’s prayer, “thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” In the midst of a world wracked by poverty, famine, destruction of the earth’s environment, war and threats of war, we need peace within and across nations to save humankind and the planet itself.
Isaiah declares the good news that the child who is coming will be called the Prince of Peace. Paul’s words of blessing to the church in Rome affirm that peace, harmony, and unity are made available to us through the gift of God’s love incarnate in Christ Jesus. As we move through the Advent season, let us pray that God’s spirit will move among us to bring peace to our hearts, to our nation and to our world. Let us pray, too, that filled with God’s peace, we will spread peace wherever we go. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9, NRSV)
Peace in Our Hearts
God whose peace is beyond our understanding, touch our hearts this day. Heal the broken places in our lives, the pain that others may know and the pain that only you know. Grant us strength to endure and wisdom to move forward in the journey to become the people you want us to be. We pray in the name of the Prince of Peace. Amen.