Advent Week 2: PEACE

 

When God comes, peace comes.

The people of Jericho were in rebellion against God. Generation after generation only worsened in their lifestyles of idolatry and oppression. Caring only for their own well-being, they warred with neighboring kingdoms, oppressed the weak and marginalized, and did terrible things during their religious rituals. Behind towering walls the city lived in rebellion, hostility and swelling fear.

But then God came, along with a people living under his rule and reign. And when God comes, peace comes. He would not let Jericho’s oppression and rebellion continue. It was time for peace. 

But here’s the tricky thing about peace—it can come in only two forms, reconciliation or defeat. Rahab, one woman in Jericho, chose reconciliation, and she was joyfully received into the community of God’s kingdom. The rest of Jericho continued to rebel, and were defeated. God tore down their walls, and peace descended upon the land.

These days, things are not much different. We care only for our own well-being, at war with our enemies, oppressing the weak and marginalized, and doing terrible things in the name of personal happiness. We’re still in rebellion; we’re still building walls. God is still breaking down walls; he is still bringing peace. And when Jesus—the Prince of Peace—came into the world, this peace also came in only two forms, reconciliation or defeat. 

But Jesus took the defeat that we deserved so we could choose reconciliation. “For he himself is our peace, who has…broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility” (Eph. 2:14 ESV). In an unforeseeable twist, the conquering king broke himself, not his rebellious subjects, so that he could be at peace with them. 

When God comes, peace comes.

Peace is going to come no matter what. May you choose the way of Rahab and be reconciled to God this Christmas.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased” (Lk. 2:14 ESV).

 

Purple Candle: 

On this Sunday, we encourage you to light two candles – the first reminding us of the hope of Christ we anticipate during advent, and the second to remind us of the peace of Christ we look forward to in this season as well. With your family or community, read through some or all of the Scriptures for this Sunday and light the candles for Hope and Peace.

 

Sunday Readings: 

Isaiah 11:1-10

Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19 

Romans 15:4-13

Matthew 3:1-12

 

Reflection Question:

How can you bring peace into the lives of those around you?

 

Prayer: 

Pray this prayer throughout the day:

Father, show me the way to be at peace with you and at peace with others.

 

 
Posted on December 4, 2016 .