As we come to the Fourth Sunday in Advent we light the candle of PEACE…, in anticipation of our long awaited Lord. The Messiah of Israel. The Saviour of the world.
What could the people of 1st century Judea have done to prepare for His coming? Nothing. Had the people of that day been honoring God, Jesus’ incarnation would not have taken them as such a surprise. But history reads otherwise. Wars, murders, sickness, strife among nations, and within families were as commonplace then as they are now.
Christ’s coming was as essential then as it is now. We are still a people, a species, who reject His principles for honorable living. We want no one to rule over us or set any perimeters on our choices or actions. And we still want NO consequences to limit our choices of propriety or respect of the environment or our actions toward any other human being. “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” … and all around me. [William Ernest Henley]
If ever a delusion has overtaken our hearts and minds it is that we are the supreme rulers of all there is. We answer to ourselves and none other.
If PEACE were ever needed in our world it is now. Truly, it has always been needed. We are the only ones here, at this hour, who can bring it about. And we cannot without the peace that our Lord Jesus Christ offers, flooding our lives with overflowing love and wisdom for those around us. This is not a platitude; it is work, hard work. And we best get to it quickly.
So as we light this PEACE CANDLE, Starr and I are quite aware that there is little peace in our world, our neighborhoods, and our families. There is a lot of work to be done to bring about peace on earth and goodwill toward men. Make this one of your goals this Christmas. Become a Person of Peace for everyone around you. Peace can be infectious, contagious, and result in others, who need the peace of Jesus Christ so much, creating a new heart for forgiveness.
Forgive those who’ve wronged you; and tell them. Before Christmas. Then seek forgiveness from those whom YOU have wronged. It may not solve all the issues, but it is a good start.
Let this fourth week of Advent begin a new stage in your life— one wherein you strive to live at peace with all men…, and all women. And children, and fellow employees, and bosses, and… .
NEXT— ADVENT 5— The CHRIST Candle