PEACE – Countdown to Christmas: An Advent Devotional Series

As we approach the second week of Advent–a four-week timeframe when Christians spend time preparing to celebrate Christmas Day–we want to take a break from the norm and talk about “Peace.”

Peace has become a foreign word in our society today, hasn’t it?

Even as Christ-followers, too often our hearts are filled with wonder of a different kind: wondering when the bills will be paid, when the terror will stop, when rest will come. Will it ever? Is the message still true? We live n a world where worry, not peace, prevails.

The peace of God allows us to look at others through heaven’s eyes and help guide the world to see God’s here and not-yet here kingdom. Peace from God allows us to trust in God’s promises through restful, tranquil faith, despite the dark, scary world around us.

One of the hallmarks of the Christmas story is when the angels appear to the shepherds and proclaim, “Peace on earth,” in Luke 2:14.

Jesus brought about peace, in the most unexpected ways, when he arrived. He didn’t come to bring peace through violence or coercion as every other King or ruling authority promises…

No–Jesus had something else in mind.

First, he gives us inner peace. Because of his work on the cross, we have a chance to receive salvation and be indwelled by the Holy Spirit. This grants us inner peace. Not only do we have the peace that comes from our assurance of salvation, but we also have the peace of mind knowing God will heal this broken world and will come again.

Second, we have peace with others. We put aside our differences; we love and pray for our enemies; we wash the feet of those around us; we pour ourselves out for the sake of others–even if they don’t deserve it–just as Jesus did. Jesus’s mission has always been for us to love Him and to love our neighbors as we do ourselves, and ultimately to turn our enemies into becoming our kin.

Let’s pray this prayer together:

Lord, in a season when every heart should be happy and light, many of us are struggling with the heaviness of life—burdens that steal the joy right out of our stockings. Tragedy arrives as innocent victims suffer, and an inner voice whispers, “Be afraid!” We need your peace, Jesus. This Advent, make peace real in our hearts.

Thank You for the gift of Jesus, our Immanuel: God with us. We know that peace on earth can only come when hearts find peace with You. You are still our Joy. You are still our Peace. You are no longer a babe in the manger. You are Lord of lords and King of kings. And we still celebrate You as Lord—this Christmas and always. In Jesus’ name, Amen.