Written By: Cathie Ostapchuk
II Thessalonians 3:16
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
I gaze at my simple nativity set, handcrafted in wood, complete with Baby Jesus asleep in the manger, sheep and shepherds nearby, and the Wise Men kneeling with their gifts. The Star wobbles from atop the arch of the stable, and all is innocent, serene, and seemingly untouched by the dark world that surrounds the lit vignette.
There is no indication in the image of this peaceful and quiet night that thirty-three years later the veil would be torn in half, and Jesus’ physical body would give up its’ soul to be once again in the right hand of His Father. There is no indication that the Prince of Peace would have to suffer excruciating pain to bring the peace the world so desperately needs. There is no understanding in Mary’s heart that she would have to give up her precious Son to hands of human hate and see Him choose to walk straight into a violent, bloody and lonely death. All this the price for our peace.
We take the manger scene and the calm it evokes and want it to be the miracle for all that is keeping us from living joyfully, with confident hope. We may not want to admit that pain was the only path to an eternal peace, and for us, it is pain that is the greatest gift for our transformation into Christ-likeness.
Peace comes at a price and has a power that cuts through every dark thought, every dark act, every unimaginable sin. Would I receive it as a gift, and not squander it by allowing my fear to cohabitate with this immeasurable promise? How much more valuable is it that peace can only come to us and was bought for us through His pain?
Lord, I receive Your peace this second Sunday of advent. If Your peace had the power to shake the universe, it has the power to envelope me and keep me in perfect peace while the world spins out of control around me.
May the Lord of peace Himself, give me peace at all times and in every way. The Lord is with me, the Lord is with you, Emmanuel.
Bring your peace into our violence
Bid our hungry souls be filled
World now breaking Heaven's silence
Welcome To Our World
Welcome To Our World