With all the noise in the world, do you hear the voice of God? Your calendar tells you what to do, but do you remember who you are? Being comes before doing. This is a call to put first things first. Return to the Lord with this daily pattern of prayer and devotion. Set aside this time as a sanctuary. Find a space free of distraction and follow this pattern.
Make the sign of the cross, and say,
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
If you have an advent wreath, light the first two candles and pray:
Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. The light no darkness can overcome.
Jesus, you are the Prince of Peace. Teach us to make peace with our words, with our hands, for our own place and all places. Amen.
Word: Isaiah 40:1-2
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that her warfare is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the Lord's hand
double for all her sins.
We’ve been talking about peace all week. That’s easy - to talk about something. But is the peace of God more than talk? “Look at all the little pieces of my broken world. I don’t need religious piety. I need real help. Real peace.”
When reading the Bible, it is important to pay attention to context. Notice the context in which the prophet spoke “Comfort, comfort my people.” (Is. 40:1) Israel was destroyed and exiled in Assyria. Judah was barely hanging on. Jerusalem was on the verge of Babylonian exile. It is precisely in this moment that God says, “Comfort.” “Peace.”
Notice the context in which Jesus said, “Peace I give to you” in John 14:27. He didn’t say “Peace” on the good day. When life was blessed. He said “peace” on the verge of disaster. When he could see the face of death. He gave peace precisely when there was none. And only HE can do that.
So much talk of peace is just that - talk. But when God speaks, it’s different. He speaks and it is. He says, “Peace,” and it happens.
Are you in a place of turmoil and disarray? Turn to the words of God. Cling to them. He doesn’t just say “peace.” He does peace.
Prayer for Neighbors
· For my immediate geographical neighbors.
· For my community, neighborhood, town/city.
· For neighbors hurting from broken families, addiction, violence, abuse, poverty, sickness.
· For the eyes of the Good Samaritan, to see and help my neighbor in need.
Word of God, speak. We need more than words. We need action. Do peace among us. Bring your comfort to us. Do justice in our world. Bring righteousness to our lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen.