PEACE in Advent

“Peace be unto you”.  These were the words Jesus announced to his disciples as He revealed Himself to them on the day of His resurrection. Now, you may be thinking: ‘I thought this was Advent, not Easter Sunday’. 

Well, if you read until the end, you will find out why we began with these words, found in John 20:19. 

Last week, Christiane and I started this series on Advent to invite you to pause for a moment. Take a break from our busy lives and feel the weight of these words – Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. 

We may know the Christmas story well. We may sing songs, and read the Scriptures, but deep transformation takes place when we pause. We observe Advent well when we engage our senses and wait with expectation for God to reveal Himself in our midst.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
     and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
     Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom, 

to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness
    from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this”
Isaiah 9:6–7 (ESV)

This promise was given many years before the coming of Jesus. Can you put yourself in the shoes of those who believed the Messiah was coming, but didn’t get to see his birth? How about those who saw Christ as a child, do you think they knew who He was? What if you were one of those listening to Him preach his famous Sermon on the Mount? Would you have understood what He was saying? Better yet, would you have followed Him? 

It is easy for us to forget our privilege of living in this side of history. We can look back at the promise of his coming, his birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension. We can not only receive, but embody his Peace. When Jesus appeared to his disciples, He was announcing from that moment forward He would be in them (in us!). 

He said “Peace be unto you” and He breathed on them to receive the Holy Spirit. 

We may look around and see wars, violence, poverty, hatred, racism, and many others forms of injustice. We may feel tired, overwhelmed, and even distant from God at times because we don’t see Peace. You may not experience it at work, or in your family…maybe your mind is filled with anxious thoughts.

Let’s not forget He fulfilled the promise. He IS the Prince of Peace. He didn’t give his disciples something that He didn’t have.  He embodied peace. We can experience Peace, even in a world still waiting for His kingdom to be fully realized in all “justice and righteousness”. 

We can receive Him. We can acknowledge His presence. We can abide in Him. We can even be empowered to offer Peace to others. We can live out this reality: 

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

Matthew 5:9 (ESV) 

We are called children of God, and are extremely blessed when carrying out His likeness as peacemakers. 

We pray Peace over you! No matter your circumstance, we ask for the Breath of Life to envelope you today. May His Presence renew your life, as we wait for the renewal of ALL things.

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 (ESV)

Blessings and PEACE,

Dr. Christiane and Rev. Todd