SATURDAY: PEACE by Pastor Steven Grosvenor

SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 59:15b-21, Luke 1:26-80

A common theme through Advent and the Christmas season is “PEACE.” A song we hear throughout the Advent Season celebrates peace written by Charles Wesley in 1739 identifies Jesus as the source of peace for all people today.

Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the new born King!
Peace on earth, and mercy mild—God and sinners reconciled”
Joyful, all ye nations, rise; Join the triumph of the skies,
With th’angelic host proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem.”
Hail, the heav’n-born Prince of Peace! Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings, Ris’n with healing in His wings.
Mild he lays His glory by, Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth.

P-E-A-C-E. Breathe this word slowly into your thinking. Won’t it be beautiful when we experience this peace at the Advent of our Lord Jesus?

Our temptation is to withdraw from our world and wait impatiently for Jesus to come again to usher us into heaven. But our Scripture tells us that Messiah promotes justice that leads to authentic peace. Read slowly and contemplate the desire of God for our world through the Messiah.

The LORD looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm achieved salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him. He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak. According to what they have done, so will he repay wrath to his enemies and retribution to his foes; he will repay the islands their due. From the west, people will fear the name of the LORD, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory. For he will come like a pent-up flood that the breath of the LORD drives along. “The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” declares the LORD. “As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and
my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the LORD
(Isaiah 59:15b-21, NIV).

This prophecy of the Messiah weaves its way through the Israelite story into the Christmas story as told by St. Luke (see 1:16-28). Authentic Peace comes through Jesus. May we center our lives in the Christ of Christmas Story this Advent Season, radiate His peace and be advocates for justice that brings PEACE to our world today?

Lord, today we pray that we would sing songs of peace not only with our mouths, but also with our lives.
We pray that Your peace would be evident in us and would bear Your radiance
in a world that is still overwhelmed by darkness.

Josh Kleinfeld