Image courtesy of Igniter Media

“Peace” is often a wish more than a reality we experience.

If you have any doubts, look at the comments people make on social media.  Peace?  I think not.

What did Jesus bring with His existence?  What is the “peace of Christmas” we hear mentioned?  Perhaps a good starting point for this answer is in Verse 3 of “O Holy Night”.

Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us praise His holy name

“O Holy Night”
Words and Music by Adolphe Charles Adam, John Sullivan Dwight and Placide Cappeau
Public Domain

The message of Jesus was the Good News of the deliverance of our souls.  He gives us peace by changing our hearts.  He delivers peace into our hearts and then expects us to act in His peace.

On this second week of our Advent journey, we read in Luke 3:1-6:

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene—during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all people will see God’s salvation.’ ” 

Luke 3:1-6
New International Version
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John’s purpose on this Earth was preparing the way for Jesus.  He was like the herald trumpet before a monarch or dignitary entered a room.  He shouted words of warning and encouragement to people: “The Messiah is coming!”

His arrival signaled a change was coming to the arrangement between the Lord and humanity.  He was the red carpet upon which our Lord would enter and declare the Good News of peace for our souls.

Peace isn’t something imposed on us.  Jesus brings His peace into our souls.  May you find the peace of the Lord in your soul this Advent season.

For further Advent reading this week, read and meditate on these:

  • Malachi 3:1-4
  • Isaiah 11:1-10
  • Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19
  • Romans 15:4-13
  • Matthew 3:1-12
  • Song: “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” (Casting Crowns has a wonderful version of this hymn)
  • Song: “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear”
  • Song: “It is Well With My Soul”
  • Song: “Lead Me to the Rock” (CompassionArt)