This Advent take time to slow down and embrace the season.
This week we light the second purple (or blue) candle on the Advent wreath.
“We light this candle in peace; Jesus is our peace.”
SLOW DOWN, EMBRACE PEACE
When you think of peace, what images come to mind?
What does peace look like?
What would it mean for you to have peace?
"Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.
A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” A voice says, “Cry out!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever.
Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!” See, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.”
Do you find peace in this passage? If so, where? If not, why not?
Isaiah writes "Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain...He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep."
What does it mean to you that every valley would be lifted up, and every mountain and hill made low?
Where do you see this happening in the world around you?
Where is it not happening?
How could you be a part of making this happen in your world?
This week, make a list of those people and situations in your life, your neighborhood, and your world that need peace.
Consider how you might be someone who brings peace to these people and in those situations.
Find a service project to participate in that brings peace to those in need.
Christmas Benevolence still needs a lot of help! If you are in town this weekend, check out the opportunities to serve. Check the church website www.secondchurch.org for a full list of opportunities. Delivery day is Saturday, December 20.
End with this Psalm as your prayer.
"Lord, you were favorable to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
You forgave the iniquity of your people; you pardoned all their sin. Selah
You withdrew all your wrath; you turned from your hot anger.
Restore us again, O God of our salvation, and put away your indignation toward us.
Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
Will you not revive us again, so that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.
Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.
Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.
The Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps."
SLOW DOWN, EMBRACE PEACE