On the second Sunday of Advent, we light the candle representing Peace.
Pastor Marcus shared with us the following:
For the second week of Advent we embrace the gift of peace that God provides us in the coming of Christ. As often as we hear about peace, there is a roar of violence not far off. Many people have spoken about peace throughout history and peace seems to be just as hard to define as it is to maintain. For some people it means an end to violence. For others it means justice is served. For more still, peace involves a way forward for the parties involved to live without the threat of further suffering. When Jesus came into the world, his people expected him to be a conqueror king--the Messiah or Anointed One--exacting revenge on those who oppressed them. Their idea of who the Anointed One would be was based on Scripture and personal history.
This is not what God had in mind.
The suffering servant would bring peace to the world not through force of will but through radical love. This made many people feel many kinds of ways (upset, confused, overjoyed, disappointed, reassured, etc.). Still, Jesus was obedient to God's plan.
For all of the unrest in the world, what does peace look like to you?
What are the the different ways of approaching peace? And what was the way prepared by God's followers, and how we might join in that preparation?
The verses you may wish to consider: Isaiah 61:1–4, 8–11 and John 1:6–8, 19–28.
A book I recommend: "Stay Awhile: Advent Lessons in Divine Hospitality" (p. 53) by Kara Eidson (Presbyterian Publishing Corporation).
Peace be with you.