The season of Advent we find ourselves in year after year is a time of preparation and repentance in anticipation of the feast of Christmas. During these four weeks, we are to make room for Jesus and the kingdom he has inaugurated in our lives, families, and communities. It is nearly impossible not to stumble over the titles ascribed to Jesus as we go through this season: Emmanuel, King, Son of God, and Prince of Peace. This last title is one we consider as we prepare to observe the second Sunday of Advent.
To ignite our thinking about peace, let these thoughts from Paul Sheneman’s Illuminate: An Advent Experience get our brains and hearts considering this theme.
“The peace that is often talked about on the news is an absence of violence. If a peace treaty is signed, then it is assumed that two countries or parties have stopped fighting. The image of the peace treaty also teaches us that peace is a temporary state in our world. We begin to assume that war and violence is the normal way for disagreements to be settled.
When we turn to Scriptures, we get a different picture of peace. God’s action of peace is not just an absence of violence but actually a movement to restore harmony between the many relationships of creation and humanity. The image of God’s peace in Scripture is one where war is no longer a part of our world. Nations will turn their instruments of war into tools for the care of creation (see Isa. 2:4). Everyone will have food, and fear will be absent from our hearts. God’s peace is a wholeness of relationships throughout all creation. This is the peace we hope for at the second coming of our Lord. It is the peace we are called to practice now.”
Where do we see the light of peace in others, in ourselves, and in the world?