Week 2: Peace

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World peace is a safe answer if you want to be Miss America. “Peace on earth” is a key line in the most popular Christmas song, “Joy to the World.” But what kind of Peace does Jesus promise? Is it immediate world peace? Jesus himself said, “I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Maybe world peace is not the answer. What about inner peace, freedom from pain through meditation? This may see more accurate, but we are still far from the truth. This kind of peace involves blocking out the world. As Christians, we are called to love one another with the deepest empathy, something that cannot be achieved by hiding in your own thoughts. So what kind of Peace is Jesus bringing? Jesus brings the Peace that passes all understanding, given by the Holy Spirit. Peace that doesn’t hide from the world or give up on God, but perseveres through suffering. The peace of Jesus is knowing that He will not forsake us. The peace of Jesus is knowing the victory is won.

Reflection:
Remember this week the peace that Jesus brings in the midst of your trials and having a relationship with Him.

Philippians 4:7
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

Week 1: Hope

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Why do we hate waiting? On average we spend 6 months of our lives waiting. Waiting in line, waiting in traffic, it all adds up. However, thanks to high-speed Internet, Amazon Prime, and other innovations that number is decreasing. But we hate waiting more and more, because we expect gratifications to be more and more instant. If a web page takes more then three seconds to load, if our package takes more than two days to arrive, if our GPS doesn’t load instantly, we become frustrated. Anything that is not instant is unacceptable, and this need for instant gratification is spiritually toxic. We expect God to work on our timing and get angry when He doesn’t. He calls us to wait for Him, but we won’t wait for anything, so we can make ourselves miserable. OR… we can hope. Hope is being sure that God will come through, even if we don’t see how. Hope is knowing that God works all things for the good of those who love Him who are called according to His purpose. Hope is patiently trusting that God is a loving Father who cares for us, no matter the present circumstances. And hope is the first step to understanding the Christmas story. Because after thousands of years, the wait would soon be over: the Son of God was arriving.

Reflection:

Psalm 27:14:

Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.