Sunday, December 6
To begin, light the first and second Advent candle which symbolizes peace. If desired, play the Advent Contemplative Playlist during your devotional time.
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.
At the time of Jesus’ birth the people of Israel were waiting for the Anointed One to establish lasting peace on earth. The Jewish people, especially the zealots, thought the reality of peace was only possible through the Messiah violently overthrowing the powers that be. For generations they had intimately known war, captivity, and exile. They were a people starving for peace.
Inwardly, though our circumstances are vastly different, we have our own reasons for true peace to be established in an age where we are often ruled by fear, anxiety, sickness, and division. It is good news to anxious hearts to know that Jesus has established a foretaste of shalom (wholeness, well-being) in our world. In Christ’s first arrival the world was introduced to a Shepherd that leads His flock to green pastures, still waters, and through thorny brush and dark valleys (Psalm 23). In His second coming we will know a time where all broken things will be restored. Between these two advents our Triune God has charged us with the call to be peacemakers of God who live a different way. A way where we love our enemies. Seeking to not be overcome by evil, but overcoming evil with good (Rom. 12:21).
- How is Jesus inviting you personally into more of His peace and rest in this season?
- How can you join God in bringing about His peace in your spheres of influence?
Resting in the presence:
- Take 5 minutes or so to sit in the presence of God while reflecting on this theme of peace. Sit in a silent posture and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to a posture of peace.
- If you are finding it difficult to stay focused, read and pray through Philippians 4:4-7.
Daily Devotional for Week 2
Advent is a season of repentance and preparation as we grapple with our need for God’s intervention and God’s call to address injustice in the world. The focus of this second week of advent is peace.
Listening Prayer » Take a few minutes to allow your whole self to be heard from God, and in return allowing your hearts to be opened to the whole being of God.
Scripture Reading » See daily readings below.
Watching Prayer » Take a few minutes to engage in prayer centered around letting God lead the conversation visually and speaking to and around what we see as we commune with him.
Closing Prayer » Jesus, you entered our world on Christmas as the Prince of Peace. This Advent, as we strive to become the-best-version-of-ourselves, fill us with a deep and abiding peace. Help us share that peace with everyone we encounter, especially those who need it most. Amen
“I want to simplify your lives. When others are telling you to read more, I want to tell you to read less; when others are telling you to do more, I want to tell you to do less. The world does not need more of you; it needs more of God. Your friends do not need more of you; they need more of God. And you don’t need more of you; you need more of God.” – Eugene Peterson
Scripture Reading » Psalm 27, Isaiah 26:7-15
“Peace begins with a smile.” – Mother Teresa
Scripture Reading » Psalm 27, Isaiah 4:2-6
“God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.” – C.S. Lewis
Scripture Reading » Psalm 27, Malachi 2:10–3:1
Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too. – Frederick Buechner
Scripture Reading » Psalm 126, Habakkuk 2:1-5
“The incentive to peacemaking is love, but it degenerates into appeasement whenever justice is ignored. To forgive and to ask for forgiveness are both costly exercises. All authentic Christian peacemaking exhibits the love and justice – and so the pain – of the cross.” – John Stott
Scripture Reading » Psalm 126, Habakkuk 3:2-6
“Our lives are destined to become like the life of Jesus. The whole purpose of Jesus’ ministry is to bring us into the house of the Father.” – Henri Nouwen
Scripture Reading » Psalm 126, Habakkuk 3:13-19