Advent Week 2: Peace

Advent Reading
Isaiah 9:6-7, Romans 5:1-2, John 14:27, John 16:33, Philippians 4:7, Hebrews 13:8, Psalm 29:11

Peace. What is that? How does it feel?  Peace is the feeling of being safe and secure. Children may feel a sense of peace when they are sitting in their mom or dad’s lap. Others may feel peace when the circumstances around them seem to be under their control and everything is going smoothly. True peace is trusting God to take care of our needs in any situation. More than 2000 years ago, God blessed the world with peace through the Prince of Peace, Jesus. “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” (Isaiah 9:6).

It is interesting that the most definitive teaching on peace in all of Scripture comes from Jesus on the night before he would be crucified. He knew what he was about to face, yet he still took the time to comfort his disciples with the message of peace. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

The peace Jesus is talking about allows believers to remain calm, and have peace, in the most wildly fearful circumstances. It enables them to hush a cry, still a riot, rejoice in pain and trial, and sing in the middle of suffering. This peace is never affected by circumstances but instead affects and even overrides them.

This is the peace that Paul speaks about in Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” The peace of God is not based on circumstances like the world’s peace, so it doesn’t always make sense to the human mind. Paul says it is a peace that surpasses comprehension. It doesn’t seem reasonable that such peace could exist in the midst of the problems and troubles we go through. But this is divine, supernatural peace.

This is the kind of peace people really want. They want a peace that deals with the past, one where there is no more condemnation and complete forgiveness, for their past sins. They want a peace for the present, with no unsatisfied desires and heavy burdens of today’s realities wearing away at their hearts. They want a peace that holds promise for the future, where there is no longer fear of the unknown and where tomorrow offers no threats against them.

And that is exactly the peace that’s offered: where the guilt of the past is forgiven; where the trials of the present are overcome; and where our destiny in the future is secured eternally. This kind of peace has a name. We celebrate during this season that “to us a child is born, to us a son is given.” His name is the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.

Christmas Songs of Peace
Silent Night, Holy Night - Casting Crowns from Peace On Earth
Hark the Herald Angels Sing with King of Heaven- Paul Baloche from Christmas Worship

Pray for Peace
Take time to pray for peace for your family, community, nation, and world. Pray that people would be able to experience the Prince of Peace in this holiday season. Pray that despite their experiences or circumstances they would come to know Jesus and the incredible peace he offers.

Celebrate Peace
Bring a piece of paper and a pencil to the table for one of your meals as a family this week. After you have talked about any daily things they would like to share, brainstorm together about places you think are peaceful. Some ideas might be sitting on a chair at the beach, taking a walk through the woods or sitting under a blanket while reading a book. Help your family think about places where you feel peaceful. Write each of those ideas down on the sheet of paper. If you have young children, remind them that true peace is trusting God to take care of your needs in any situation. Ask your kids the difference between a peaceful place and the peace that God offers. Explain that being in a peaceful place is only a temporary peace. God’s peace lasts forever.