The theme of this second Sunday of Advent is traditionally peace. It has been said that the way to achieve inner peace is to finish things you’ve started – one person claimed they were well on the way to such peace having finished one evening two bags of crisps, a strawberry cheesecake, a packet of biscuits, a bottle of coke and a large box of chocolates. Seeking to be a little more serious, many would perhaps define peace as the cessation of war, the end of conflict. Such peace is to be treasured and actively sought.
But true peace goes much deeper that a mere deal not to fight – for instance, we give thanks for the ‘Good Friday’ agreement but long for true reconciliation between all people in all of Ireland. The glorious good news of Christianity, which we especially celebrate this week, is that the God of all peace, sent His Son, the Prince of Peace, into this world to bring “peace to men” (Luke 2v14). As a result, we can have “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5v1), allow the “peace of Christ [to] rule in [our] hearts” (Colossians 3v15) and seek to be peacemakers, living so far as is possible at peace with everyone (Romans 12v18).
In a sense, true peace includes finishing things yet is so much more – it’s all about ending my sinful rebellion against God and instead enjoying His amazing love and grace, it’s seeking to stop any personal grievances / disputes with others and instead, if possible, living together in true harmony. Peace is not an uneasy truce but deep reconciliation, firstly with God, then with each other.
Peace and Grace