During the second week of Advent, we focus on the theme of peace—something our world desperately needs.
Peace is not just the absence of problems. Peace is also the presence of a redeemer who makes us whole. In other words, Christ is at work in our lives, making us whole, as we were intended to be.
What's amazing about this work of Christ is he begins by offering us peace with God. Romans 5:1 says, "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." When we place our trust in Christ, our relationship with God is made right. Trusting in Christ means that we are not only saved from our sins. We are also given Christ's righteousness. Our sin has been undoing everything God wanted to have happen. The death and resurrection of Christ reverses that destructive path, and begins to make all things new or whole or as they were meant to be. We have peace with God.
Additionally, we are given the same peace that we see in Jesus throughout the Gospels. Jesus says in John 14:27, "Peace I leave; my peace I give you." We can have the same peace that was in Jesus during the storm on the boat when the disciples were afraid for their lives. It's the same peace we see in Jesus when the Pharisees tried to trap him in saying something wrong. The same peace we see when the crowds pressed in on Jesus and brought their sick, lame, deaf, and mute. That's the peace Jesus gives. So when the doctor says, "I'm sorry there's nothing more we can do"—Jesus offers his peace. When that phone call turns your world upside down—Jesus is right there with his peace. It's a peace that is present, making us whole.
But there's one more element of this peace of Christ. It's a peace of which we are called to be conduits. In Matthew's gospel, we see Jesus declaring, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." (Matthew 5:9) If we call ourselves followers of Christ, we have a job. We—just like Jesus did—are to enter into places where there is no peace in oder to offer the peace of God. In other words, since we've been reconciled to God, we are to be about the work of reconciliation—making things right, whole, the way they were intended to be.
My challenge for you this week: Trust & Obey. The peace we long to experience comes only through a relationship with Christ. It is a relationship in which we regularly give more and more of our trust to him. A simple prayer is this: "I give everything and everyone to you." It is also a relationship in which, day by day, we follow his example and remain obedient to what he calls us to. This is what Advent teaches us.
Here are some questions for reflection:
- Is everything alright between you and God? Is there peace?
- How is peace connected to trusting and obeying Christ?
- Are you helping or hindering peace in this world? How can you be a peacemaker this week?
Have a blessed week!
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Notes from the Staff @The Woods