SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT – Peace
One: Last Sunday we lit the first candle—the candle of hope. Today we light the second candle, the candle of peace. We light it knowing full well that peace is elusive, and in some parts of the world, it is almost completely absent.
Yet in this season of Advent, we trust that God is never absent from us. God is always preparing something new. And even where there is war and discord, whether between countries, within families, or within our own hearts, God is present, gently leading us to new possibilities.
I invite you right now, to take a moment and light a candle with us as we focus our minds and hearts on God, who is our Peace.
(Light the first and second candle)
One: Let’s pray together, this prayer:
All: Loving God, in this time of preparation and planning,
We thank you for the hope and peace you unfailingly offer us.
Show us the power of hope.
Teach us the peace that comes from Your presence.
Prepare our hearts to be transformed by you,
That we may walk in the light of Christ.
One: Take your encouragement from Christ,
that your joy may be complete.
All: We will share in the Spirit;
We will find consolation in love.
One: Practice a ministry of humility and compassion
For God is at work in you, empowering you to walk in the way of peace.
All: We will welcome Christ into our hearts.
We will live lives worthy of the Gospel.
We will go forth in hope and in peace. Amen.
One: Today we are going to be reading from Isaiah 11:1-10.
The Branch from Jesse
11 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together;
and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.
This Advent, as we prepare to celebrate the Kingdom of God coming near in Jesus, lets contemplate how his Kingdom of peace affects our lives. As a part of God’s kingdom, consider yourself a participant and a minister of God’s peace.
- What would it look like for you to be a minister of God’s peace in your family and close personal relationships?
- What could it look like for you to be a minister of God’s peace in your community, nation or world?
As Paul would say, “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”(1 Cor. 1:3)