Advent 4: Peace

The Angels Candle: Peace
Advent Reading: Luke 2:13-14

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” …

I don’t know if it’s some weird boyish fascination, but I love throwing sticks and logs into moving water, to see how far they’re carried before getting lodged somewhere among the boulders. There’s just something about this I find so fun.

But rocks sink. No matter how rushing the river or powerful the current is, eventually a rock drops down and finds the bottom. Every. Time.

God’s peace is like that.

There’s a wonderful story of Jesus in the gospels, where He is catching some shut-eye, tuckered out from a long day of ministry, while His disciples are losing their minds in a frenzied freak-out. Granted, they have a good reason. A raging storm is throwing a tantrum all about their boat. And it’s getting worse. But Jesus is unperturbed, frustrating His followers.

Isaiah 9 calls Jesus the Prince of Peace. He doesn’t just have peace, He Himself is peace.

Our passage above says when the shepherds learned of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, an army of angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Emphasis mine) This wasn’t a generic peace; It wasn’t simply a lack of noise or arguing. Nor was it the kind of peace that follows your kids falling asleep, when you pour yourself a glass of wine. That’s surface-level peace.

God’s ways are anything but surface-level.

Jesus is an all-encompassing, all-pervading peace, the kind that goes all the way down to the bottom of your circumstance, whatever it may be. Jesus doesn’t do band-aids or Advil. He gets to the point. To the bottom, like a rock in water. And from that deep, inner place, under the turmoil and raging fear, He issues God’s peace.

This means it isn’t simply “peace”. It’s Jesus. He came among us. When Jesus came, peace came. He came to wash away our acts of separation, those foul ways of life that removed us from God’s affection and presence. He removed our sin and brought us into union.

This was what we needed. And still now.

Though distractions persist and life rages as it often does, Jesus got to the bottom of the issue and bridged the gap between our spirits and His Father. He reminds us that flailing up on the deck of the boat is not a productive use of time. What is needed instead is following His example, to fall asleep in the knowledge and revelation of Jesus Christ, our Prince of Peace.

Sweet dreams.

Question: What does it mean to you that Jesus is your peace?

Prayer: Father, thank you for Jesus, the peace that brought us into your presence and grace. Thank you that He is with us in every storm. Help us understand more fully what Jesus has done for us and how it affects every part of our lives. In His name, Amen.

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