Advent Devotional: Peace
Dream with me for a moment. You walk in a large wooden door with a fresh pine wreath greeting you with a pleasant aroma as you step into a spacious house, windows lining the walls, freshly vacuumed floors, a large comfy couch with a knitted blanket draped over the side. A vase of fresh flowers sits on the coffee table next to a small stack of books and a flickering candle begging you to come sit down and take deep breath as you settle into the coziness of the couch for a nice afternoon nap. Sounds peaceful, doesn't it? I often convince myself that peace is defined by the condition of my home, how organized my cabinets are or how clean my floors are. On an even larger picture, I can trick myself into thinking peace is defined by the harmony in my marriage, my level of stress or how may tasks are left on my to-do list when my head hits the pillow at night. My version of peace can far to often look like everything being under control, in-order and organized rather than the state of my heart. But that kind of peace is not the peace that we read about in Scripture.
Peace is gift that cannot be earned, made, attained, achieved or purchased. It can only be received.
"Hark the healed angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled."
Jesus came to earth to bring us peace with God.
He came to Earth, lived a sinless life and then died on the cross providing us with an invitation to accept Him into our hearts and lives as our Lord and Savior, reconciling us to God and restoring us to a place of peace with Him.
"For it pleased the Father that in (Jesus) all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on Earth, or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. (Colossians 1:19-20)
I love Christmas season; the bells, gingerbread, red ribbons, cinnamon rolls, pretty packages tied with gold bows, twinkling lights and fresh pine trees. But more than all the tangible items, I love the peace that comes with this season. The peace of knowing that I have a God who loves me, cares for me and sacrificed Himself so that I might have life. Christmas day marks the day that peace entered the world in the form of Jesus, that we might experience His peace to the fullest extent.
It is surprising how easy it is to receive the peace of Jesus. Its so easy it can easily become challenging as we try to understand how simple it is. Jesus said "peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27
Peace is not only available, it is possible and its a free gift, given with no strings attached. Reach your hands out, take a deep breath and open your heart to just receive.
As we receive peace, we can sow seeds of peace in our lives and in the lives of others. "A harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace" (James 3:18) I don't know about you, but I want to be a woman that sows seeds of peace in my heart, my words to others, my responses in conflict, the way that I serve those around me, the way I love and honour my husband and the way I greet my neighbor. Seeds of peace can be just that, seeds. Small, daily actions that can reap a greater harvest of peace that represents Jesus to the world around us. Because Jesus did that for us, he came, as a seed of peace to the womb of Mary to later invite the whole world into a place of peace with God once and for all.
Hallelujah! Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.
By Carolynn Seibert