Advent: Peace

Peace seems to be elusive.  We live busy, stressed out lives, especially this time of year. There are a million things to do, presents to buy, events to attend and guests to entertain. It is hard to find even a moment of peace.

Our nation has just endured  one of the most divisive  presidential elections in its history. Police have become targets of violence. Many cities have experienced demonstrations and riots in recent months. It seems that our country  is on the edge and peace is nowhere to be found.

Internationally we are facing a growing threat of terrorism. As the unrest in Syria continues the refugee crises multiplies. Each day brings another disaster. There is no peace.

There is hope. Peace can be found even in a tumultuous  world. We have peace because long ago Christ came into our world.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.   Isaiah 9:6

We have peace because of God’s radical demonstration of love. We have peace be Jesus is Immanuel – God with us.

Advent: Hope

Today is the beginning is of Advent. Advent is a time for us to prepare for Christmas. It isn’t about shopping, baking, decorations or even preparing for the annual Christmas concert, play or cantata.

Advent is about what God did for us. It is about God’s Radical demonstration of love. Humans were created by God to have a relationship him. Sadly, humans rebelled. It was God who took the initiative to be restoration and healing to humans.

Christ came into a dark world so we might have hope.  A hope that endures even in the most difficult situations. A hope that isn’t based on our circumstances. A hope that gives purpose and meaning even when life seems pointless. A hope that is anchored in the past saving work of Christ, the on-going strength for today and the promise of future reward.