Peace! We have celebrated the Sundays of Advent.
But wait. We missed an Advent candle this year because of snow. It was to be the PEACE candle, signifying the PEACE that was manifested by the presence of angels at the Lord’s birth.
So here is what we’ll do:
This Sunday I plan to circle back and revisit this important element of the Christmas story. This Sunday’s topic will be PEACE.
What did the angel say to the shepherds?
“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of GREAT JOY which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
(We talked about “Great Joy” in December, when we found that the only real joy was the heavenly kind.)
Then what happened?
“Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth PEACE, goodwill towards all people!’”
So now we have a multitude of angels, and we have moved from JOY to PEACE.
So here’s a question: How much peace? Recall that there is a common theme with the outcomes of our spiritual efforts: they are dose-related. We’ll talk about this on Sunday, and how it applies to PEACE as well as JOY.
With the angels of Christmas there was a kind of prayer for peace. But with the Lord, the prayer has been answered with a promise:
“I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So do not be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27)
All of this will come together when we will talk about this gift of PEACE and see how much meaning can be wrapped up in that one little word.
I hope to see you here.
Pastor Reuben Bell
Bath Church of the New Jerusalem