In this season of Advent, anticipating the birth of God’s Son, the second candle represents Peace. Last week I wrote about the first candle, the candle of Hope.
Has there ever peace in our world? I imagine it was when Adam and Eve walked with God in the Garden of Eden, before they grasped that fateful fruit causing sin to divide our hearts from our Creator. Everything was perfect, their relationship with God unmarred. When sin entered in, our inner peace shattered and we slowly began to move away from the One who made us peace-filled. The entire Old Testament shows a nation moving further away from the peace of a Gracious God.
This world is far from peace-filled. I don’t really need to tell you this. It seems like we are moving rapidly in the opposite direction. Countries are at war with one another. Americans are at war with one another. We are at war with ourselves.
Like hope, peace can’t be found in things you can touch. Peace that endures beyond the events of the world around us can only come from the one who embodies it.
“For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
Each year at advent, we are reminded, that God’s peace can be ours if we draw near to the Peace Giver. When nations rage, our countrymen bicker, and our minds go into fits of crazy, inner peace can be found in a God who chose to come to us. No other god worshipped by any other religion in history became a man in order to come to the one he loves. Many religions try to work and achieve success to climb up to the god they serve. Our God chose to come down to us. He loves us that much, to be peace within each of our souls when our world is wrecked.
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people he favors!” proclaimed the angels to the shepherds before they fled their fields to find the infant Savior. Their world was also in need of peace. Centuries of silence from God was broken in the form of the wailing cry of a baby.
Philip Brits said, “The peace on earth the angels proclaimed is reconciliation with God. It is brought about by the coming of Christ into our poverty.” Like hope, peace is a gift we can choose to open and embrace or reject. When our hearts turn back to God, we can once again walk with Him in the Garden of peace He created for us a long time ago.