“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Fourth Advent: PEACE
How can we have peace in this season of polarization and fear? The apostle Paul tells us that we will receive the peace of God when we come to God in prayer. Paul is in prison as he writes these words. He is isolated from his church and his friends. It seems that he has every reason to be anxious, and thankless, and disheartened. Yet he comes to God in prayer and receives His peace.
This is the last week of Advent, and our time of waiting is almost complete. But we know that it will not really end when we reach December 25—Christ has come, and Christ is yet to come.
As we begin our celebrations, perhaps in the absence of loved ones, I read Mary’s words when she visited Elizabeth after hearing that she would bear God’s son: “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46-47). I pray that we would magnify (glorify) the Lord and rejoice at the news of the Gospel. May we keep coming back to this moment, time and time again—the moment the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
In this season, we have seen Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace. All of it centres on Christ. He is our Hope, our confident expectation for what is to come. He is our Love, seen in the Bible from Eve to Mary and now in us. He is our Joy, which is not dependent on circumstances but on Jesus. He is our Peace, our Prince of Peace revealed to us through prayer.
“Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.”