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A Candle for Advent Peace

title_advent_peaceThe second Sunday we light a candle for Advent Peace.

Peace is an interesting word with many possibilities: world, personal, shalom, spiritual.

I love the Advent peace candle because it reminds me of the first year I understood who Jesus really is.

Who is Jesus?

Peace on earth, good will toward men,” the angels sang that wonderful night outside of Bethlehem. “Great news, a Savior is born.”

In my childhood, we celebrated Christmas as a time of presents, a tree, and a winter scene of cotton my mother spread across the fireplace mantel. My Sicilian family gathered and ate spaghetti and played “the game,” on December 25.

We rarely went to church on Christmas day.

But my fifteenth Christmas, I had found a different type of religious fellowship in a neighborhood Lutheran Church.

As I’ve written before, at Trinity Lutheran Church I first heard four-part harmony.

I met people who talked about Jesus as a living person–whom they knew.

Bible study was part of their lives and they invited me to read and study the Bible, too.adventpeace

Jesus–the baby, the man, the Savior, looked completely different and far more important.

And in reading and learning about Jesus from the pages of the Bible, I learned the meaning of peace.

Jesus as the Prince of Peace.

What did that mean, a prince of peace as found in Isaiah 9:6 and sung about in Handel’s Messiah?

Prince is easy to define: the son of the king, chieftain.

Peace comes from the Hebrew word shalom: completeness, soundness, tranquil, calm, friendship, health and prosperity.

(You can examine shalom’s meaning in Strong’s Concordance here).

If Jesus was Lord of my heart and he was the prince of peace–what did that mean to me?

Advent peace came when finally grasped the purpose of that baby’s birth in a manger so long ago

advent peaceGod sent Him to fulfil a plan–to take upon Himself the sins of the world and die on the cross for them.

When I recognized my sins were forgiven once and for all, my soul was flooded with a peace I still can’t explain.

I recognized the truth, however, that Jesus’ death meant the guilt I carried with me all the time was taken away.

Peace came and continues to surround me, because I’m forgiven–yesterday, today, and forever.

Advent peace candle

So, I light the Advent peace candle with gratitude–this year and every year.

Jesus was born to bring peace on earth–goodwill between God and (wo)man, forever.

Rejoice with me!

Tweetables

Advent candle #2–for peace. Click to Tweet

What did Advent peace mean to a 15 year girl long ago? Click to Tweet

The source of Advent peace is a prince. Click to Tweet

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. The essay and the video are a gift, Michelle. Thank you for this.

    Reply

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