Advent: PEACE when Fearful

Isaiah 11

1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
    from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and of might,
    the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.

He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
    or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
    with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
    with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt
    and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

The wolf will live with the lamb,
    the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together;
    and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
    their young will lie down together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
    and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea.

The first week of Advent is a time of reflection on our hope in Christ. The second week of Advent turns our attention towards the Hope that will bring us the peace.
There is a war that goes on inside of ourselves. Something is trying to split us apart from the inside out. As our longings and desires point towards our HOPE…anxiety and worry can rip that out of our hands. The peace Christ offers to bring is not a warm-fuzzy, cannot we all just get along sort of peace. The peace we long for is “Shalom,” which means “wholeness” and “completeness.” This peace is found only through the rooting out of the splitter from within our hearts.
So what is ripping you apart this Christmas? Where do you feel torn? What would peace in your marriage, your soul, your spirit mean for you?
Prayer: God, There is darkness that creeps in and I am in need of peace this morning. As this light must brave the darkness, may I brave the coldness of this world. My friends disappoint me, my family can frustrate me and even my heart is at war with itself. In an age when people so seldom find peace within themselves, and when all the earth stands under threat of unrest, we light this fire called peace so it may bring wholeness to our souls. Amen.

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