We began Advent last Sunday by lighting the first candle, the candle of Hope. We light it again today to remind us that Christ is coming to fulfill God’s promises. Today we light the second candle of Peace. The prophet Isaiah said, “Comfort, comfort my people” to a nation anxious about invasion and exile, as he foretold the coming of the Prince of Peace. Our world is still filled with violence and abuse, where families are torn apart by war and children used as soldiers. Isaiah’s words continue to speak to us that Jesus will bring us to an everlasting peace. Mary and Joseph found no room in the inn to give birth to Jesus, but we can heed John the Baptist’s command to make room in our hearts. Wherever there is war or mistrust between people, families, or our own hearts, God is present and leading us to imagine new ways of living in peace. Christ is our only hope, and our peace is found through him. We light this candle to remind us of Jesus’ life-giving peace to all who trust him. We light it in honor of those who live the Gospel truth that war does not make one great. It is the peace workers who risk much so that others may live without fear.
Prayer: We’re in trouble, Holy God. So many in the world do not know peace in their countries or in their hearts. We use weapons of steel and barbed words to wound one another. We seek balm for our restless hearts in the things that only make is more wounded. Open our hearts to Jesus so we may have the peace of his holy presence and live it in our unpeaceful world. Save us from outside violence and inner turmoil. We need you. Come, peaceful God, come. Amen
Grace and Peace to You My Friends
Truly my soul finds rest in God, my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation, he is my fortress I will never be shaken. How long will you assault me? Would all of you throw me down, this leaning wall, this tottering fence? Surely they intend to topple me from lofty place, they take delight in lies. With their mouths they bless, but in their hearts they curse. Yes, my soul, find rest in God, my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God, his is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people, pour out your hearts to him for God is our refuge.
Find comfort in knowing that God is perfectly good and strong. If God was good but lack strength, we would have no stronghold in times of trouble. If he was strong, but not totally good, his massive strength could be terrifying. God’s power is a threat to all those who oppose him. Remember Jesus is the Good Shepherd and the Good Shepherd knows his sheep and his sheep knows him. (John:10) We can always feel safe and secure in the arms of the Good Shepherd. The best way to avail yourself of His protection is to trust him totally. Jesus unfailing love surrounds all those who trust in him. So your most important task as one of his sheep is to keep on trusting in him, Jesus is the perfect Shepherd of your soul. Find rest in him alone, for he is a surrounding stronghold of unfailing love.
Grace and Peace to You My Friends
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Having someone or perhaps anyone comfort you when you are going thru difficulties or perhaps even pain is something we all want to have. Have you ever thought to bring those times of pain to God, he is the one who truly understands your pain. When those times come to you God always allow someone to come to you to comfort you, to perhaps say I am here for you, I too understand your pain, and just someone to say to you I will pray with you or just even someone to hold you in their arms without a single word spoken. When we see someone we know go thru the same pain we have gone thru it is our time to be able to comfort them. When any of us have gone thru an illness of someone and death of someone we have loved the pain we experience can be horrible to go thru but if you and I look at the whole picture of what we just experience we can comfort another person when they too go thru those difficulties themselves. When life gets hard we say “Does anyone understand the pain I have right now” my answer is YES, God does, this is why he sends someone to you saying my child I hear the pain you are telling me and I see the pain within your very own heart that you are going thru at this moment. I am saying trust God at all times. He knows your pain and sorrow you are feeling right now, and he wants you to pour out your heart in His Presence. You need to release all those emotions in a safe place. Demonstrate your trust in God by opening your heart right now in his presence and I promise he will comfort you, because Jesus is the “Great I Am” This is one of the many reasons we need to always stay close to Christ by our prayer life as well as our scripture reading each day. When I am going thru times like this I turn to the Gospel of Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus is saying “Come to me, all you who are weary and I will give your rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. These words by Jesus himself when he walk the earth many years ago comforts my soul. It tells me at least Jesus understands the very pain of my soul at this moment. God has given us a book of instructions to get those times like this and all we need to do is simply open it and read his words.
Grace and Peace to You My Friends
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you my God, My soul thirsts for God the living God, when can I go and meet with God. (Psalm 42:1-2)
Wonderful words from King David from the Old Testament, how my soul longs to understand life itself. As I sit and write these words I try to understand the trials I too face on a daily basis. I long for peace within my soul, the kind of peace that our world can not give us, because that peace doesn’t last for very long. We as humans seem to think if I only have more money, better job, a bigger house, fancy car, expensive vacation, I will be happier, and better yet what about when I win the lottery. Yet we need to realize that we are created by God in his image, and until we come to know God really know him we can never truly be happy. In the gospel of John chapter 14:27 the words of Jesus to his disciples is this, Peace I leave with you my peace I give to you, I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be trouble and do not be afraid. Some of you maybe saying to yourself, well that is easy for you to say, my answer not really. When I feel as thro the walls are crashing in on me, I reach out to a Christian brother or sister and ask for prayer. Spend time just talking, and for me when I feel this way I begin to search scriptures to give my soul some comfort. As I read these words from King David I cry out to God where are you my God, I don’t feel you close to me and I simply don’t understand why I don’t. Tell me why Lord I must walk this road, and yes Lord there are many times, too many times I feel as thro I walk alone. Then a scripture comes to my mind, my heart, from Hebrews 13: 5 Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you. This is why to me I need to read scriptures, meditate on the words I just read, and over time I come to realize that I memorize it. Life for any of us is never easy, Jesus never promise it would be easy for any of us, he tells us once we accept him as our own personal Savior he will walk with us.
The words from King David in the book of Psalm reminds me each and everyday, how I long to go deeper, deeper with knowing the one true God. So as my day is coming to a close I just think of these words, and remind myself, God is even closer than I can ever image, closer then the air I breathe, and these thoughts gives my soul much comfort.