The Promise of Peace
December 5-11, 2021
Our world is broken. It’s interesting that the angels said that Jesus, the Messiah, would come to bring peace. But how does Jesus un-break our world? How does He bring wholeness and completeness to God’s good world? We’re going to explore that kind of peace together in Scripture, prayer, and worship.
"Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire. Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”." (Psalm 46:8-10)
"Open the gates, that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in. You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. For he has humbled the inhabitants of the height, the lofty city. He lays it low, lays it low to the ground, casts it to the dust. The foot tramples it, the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy.” The path of the righteous is level; you make level the way of the righteous. In the path of your judgments, O Lord, we wait for you; your name and remembrance are the desire of our soul. My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. For when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness." (Isaiah 26:2-9)
We live in a world that only seems to grow more chaotic, criminal, and dysfunctional. While we may be tempted to mourn the earth’s condition, on this second week of Advent, we remember a Savior who is the Prince of Peace. God longs to bring the world back to a place of rightness; with the coming of Jesus, the world welcomes the peace that reigns in the truth of the universe.
The angels appeared to the shepherds and announced, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth.” And everywhere Jesus went he brought peace: He calmed the storm; he brought peace to sick bodies; he spoke the truth and his blood brought peace to our relationship with a wrathful God. This week of Advent we anticipate Jesus who came in and to bring peace.
But in this world, peace seems elusive, intangible…impossible. Presently all of creation longs to be made right. Our souls long for perfect relationships with our fellow man, with God, with the earth, and even with ourselves. As we wait for Jesus to come again, we crave and yearn for peace. So this week of Advent we also look forward to a time when peace will reign eternally—a peace we may not see currently on the earth, but feel in our souls and expect for the future of the world, a peace that makes relationships right, makes wars to cease, makes calm the waters of this life and the next.
Come, Lord Jesus, our Prince of Peace.
Pray this prayer throughout the day. Every time you sit down at a meal or sit at a red light, breathe this prayer and allow God to use you as an instrument of his peace on earth. For this week, pray this before you read the Scripture for the day. Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart as you focus your attention toward the Coming One.
“Father, bring me peace that passes all understanding and help me to be an instrument of peace.”
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Arrangement by Charles Wesley & Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
YouTube Video: O Holy Night by The McClures
1. What’s an area of your life where you need more peace?
2. How can you live at peace with everyone?
3. What do you think the world would be like, or will be like if there was peace everywhere?
In Matthew 5, Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” While Advent is a time to anticipate the coming of Christ and the embodiment of peace, he has also called us to bring his peace to the world. Idea: This week, think of a relationship in your life that needs mending. As an agent of God’s peace, carefully consider what you can do to repair the relationship. Then this week, take one step toward peace.
Decide as a family or an individual how you can participate in what God is doing to bring little pieces of heavenly peace. Ideas: Give financially to family or friends in need, Pray for the Missional Partners we support.
Home: Look at a map and point out where you live and where Bethlehem is. Then explain how people from all of over the world follow Jesus. Show areas on the map where Christians are persecuted. Have your family pray for peace around the world.
School: Paint rocks to give to your friends. On each rock, write the words, “Be kind” as a reminder that peace begins with kindness.
Community: Buy bulk bags of lollipops and attach a copy of Luke 2:14 to each lollipop to make “peace pops.” Distribute the peace pops at a local shopping mall or grocery store as a peaceful gift to patrons.