Today we continue the season of Advent, which helps prepare our hearts for Christmas. Our Advent theme this year is “An Invitation for All People.” Every Christmas is an open invitation from God to every person on planet earth to experience hope, peace, joy, and love through Christ Jesus.
Because Jesus has already come once, the white Christ candle has been lit and will remain lit throughout the Advent season. Last Sunday, we lit the first purple candle, the Candle of Hope. Today we light the second purple candle, the Candle of Peace.
We take our reading from John 14:25–27, “These things I [, Jesus,] have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
In this broken world, Jesus promises to give us what both our body and soul long for: peace. One might define peace as the removal of hostility, worry, or fear, which leads to tranquility with God, other human beings, and within yourself. That’s peace with God, peace with people, and peace of mind.
We shouldn’t be surprised by His offering us this peace because Jesus was prophesized to be the Prince of Peace. And when we come to Him, He passes that peace on to us through the Holy Spirit, filling us with it.
Are there things this Christmas threatening to wreck your peace? God invites all people to focus intently on Christ this season and offers to give peace that surpasses all understanding.
And so, this morning we light the Candle of Peace. May the angels’ declaration on that first Christmas echo forward into our lives, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” From our family to yours, “Merry Christmas!”