Well, I have a confession to make. On trying a new motif for Advent, I got the order mixed up. It should be Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. Last week I realized that I reversed Peace and Love. There’s always next year. We’ll finish up with Peace this week.
Probably one of the most common Christmas sentiments is “Peace on Earth.” This phrase comes from the song the angels sang while announcing Messiah’s birth to the shepherds (Luke 2:14). Peace is closely associated with the expectation of Messiah. In Isaiah 9:6-7 the Messiah was referred to as Prince of Peace, whose reign will be of unending peace. The Jews of Jesus time expected Messiah to come and restore peace to Israel by overthrowing Rome. Jesus had a different view of kingdom peace.
In John 14:25-29 after promising that the Holy Spirit will follow him, he says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” I don’t feel it is a stretch to say that the role of the Holy Spirit is to form God’s people into peace makers. It takes the grace of the Spirit to love God and love others.
So this Christmas, as we remember all the gifts God gave us through the incarnation of his Son, let’s not forget the gift of the Holy Spirit, given that we might become a people of peace for the kingdom.
Grace and peace,