This past Sunday we celebrated the fourth week of Advent. This week we lit the candle of Peace. The peace that God invites us to experience is a peace that sustains, rather than removes, us from the chaos and storms of our lives. God reveals to us this peace through the life of Jesus. Jesus' entry into the world should have been our first clue that God's way isn't about comfort or ease. Jesus was born in the midst of the chaos and dirt of a barn. In the midst of the crazy external circumstances that surrounded Jesus' birth - God's presence was there. And in that Presence, joy, wonder and love were experienced in profound ways.
One of the final invitations that Jesus gave His disciples, and by extension to us, is to live in His peace (Luke 24:36). In the midst of their fears and doubts (they were all huddled in a room trying to figure out what to do next) Jesus appears and invites them to receive His peace- a peace that isn't contingent on external circumstances. Rather, His peace changes hearts and the lenses through which life and circumstances are viewed. God's grace, love and goodness become the focus and the anchor upon which life is lived. As this gracious, loving God, along with a deep acceptance of our value to Him, become our foundation and focus, we will find that the life may rage around us, but we will be at peace.
Throughout His life, death and resurrection Jesus taught and walked in peace. When confronted with hatred He displayed love. His faith, though tested, never wavered as He held fast to the love and goodness of God. Often He went away in solitude to pray. Silence and solitude were integral to the rhythm of His life. It was those times of solitude and prayer that sustained Him through the trails of His life. Jesus invites us, into this same rhythm oflife. A rhythm of time away, of silence and solitude, and surrender to the love and goodness of God. If we accept His invitation, and practice this way of life, we will find that over time it will also provide for us, a calm peace in the midst of the storms, heartaches, disappointments and even in the ho hum average days of our lives.
Reflection for this week:
How am I accepting God's invitation to enter into His peace? What, if anything, is holding me back?
By Babs May-Clark