This is the fourth Sunday of Advent. Today, we light the candle of peace. Our world is not always peaceful. People hurt other people. Countries are at war. People don’t take care of the world. People yell and scream at other people. But God promises peace. During Advent we pray that we, as well as all people, will seek God’s peace.
When we look at the fourth candle, we remember God’s promise of peace. We recall the words of Jesus in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” As we approach Christmas let’s remember that God’s intention is a place of peace where people shake hands instead of harm one another.
Today’s Scripture Reading comes from the Gospel of Luke 2:8-14.
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, the one earth peace among those who he favors.”
The shepherds may have not felt very peaceful when they heard the words of the angel. They were probably scared and confused, but they followed those words, trusting in God. Sometimes all we see around us gives a message different from the message of peace. Yet we, like the shepherds, can follow God’s words and trust in God’s promises.
Dear God: Thank you for your son, Jesus. Thank you for those in our world today who seek to act for peace. Help us look for ways to bring peace at home, at church, and at school. AMEN.
The children received their next gift in their Nativity Block set. So far they have received Mary, Joseph, a sheep, and a Wise Man. The last piece of this “masterpiece” is baby Jesus. Come to worship on Christmas Eve (any service) to receive the last block. Thank you to all volunteers who cut and sanded the wood, painted and decoupaged the blocks, organized them, and handed them out. What a wonderful keepsake!