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Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Continuing to explore the words of Advent "Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love," we consider the second word of Advent - "Peace."

Ask most people to define "peace" and we use words like "calm, serene, and tranquil;" or phrases like "lack of conflict" or "absence of war."   Peace is all of this, yet much more.

The Peace of Advent is grounded in a biblical understanding of completeness, wholeness, and harmony.  The Hebrew word for peace is "shalom" which is used to describe the wholeness of body, mind and spirit; covenant relationship between two people, or nations, or with God; prosperity or success; and the end of military battle.  The Greek work "eirene" takes on all of these meanings with Christ as the model for and source of peace, hence the title "Prince of Peace."

In this biblical sense the Peace of Advent is not passive or theoretical, but active and practical.  It is also both inward and outward. We can be peaceful in the midst of conflict, as well as a peace maker between conflicting parties.  However, in order to bring peace to those around us we must have peace (wholeness and harmony) within us.

The Peace of Advent, the same sung by angels to shepherds, is not so much an invitation into tranquil rest as it is a call to action within ourselves and with others.  Just like the popular hymn says, "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin in me."

May the Peace of Advent be with you!

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