Welcome to the 2nd Sunday of Advent. Welcome to the anticipation of Jesus’ birth. In Isaiah 9:6 we read, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
We still seek the promise of this scripture. What is not fully stated here, however, is that we have a responsibility in creating this world of peace. This child of God provided us the blueprint for a life of loving our neighbor and caring for all of God’s sacred creation.
The second candle in our Advent Wreath this week is the Candle of Peace, also referred to as the Bethlehem Candle because it represents Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem before Jesus’s birth. They had a lot to do to prepare for Jesus’s birth. We, too, have a lot to do. In John 14:27 we are told that Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Jesus put peace into our hands. There is a hymn that is not in the Christmas section of our hymnals, perhaps because it is a song for all times of the year, but it belongs here with the Advent Candle of Hope. “Put Peace Into Each Other’s Hands” (Reprinted using OL 722962)
“Put peace into each other’s hands and like a treasure hold it; protect it like a candle flame, with tenderness enfold it.
Put peace into each other’s hands with loving expectation; be gentle in your words and ways, in touch with God’s creation.
Put peace into each other’s hand like bread we break for sharing; look people warmly in the eye: Our life is meant for caring.
Give thanks for strong yet tender hands, held out in trust and blessing. Where words fall short, let hands speak out, the heights of love expressing.
Reach out in friendship, stay with faith, in touch with those around you. Put peace into each other’s hands, the Peace that sought and found you.“
God sought to give us this message through Jesus. May the anticipation we feel in the preparations for Christmas light a flame within us to find and fuel a passion for peace and love in our homes, our communities, and our world.
(Author: Bonnie Barber)
Various authors throughout the Chesapeake Bay Mission Center and beyond provide these thought-provoking weekly devotions.