Sunday, December 16, 2018

Peace of God - 3rd Sunday of Advent

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

Peace is often challenged by a world full of anxieties and chaos, doubts and uncertainties, but there is an inner peace the soul can know. When faith in Christ leads us to “peace with God” the “peace of God” becomes the soul’s resting place. Peace of God is a blessing, a gift.

And ye, beneath life's crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low...
O rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing! **

Peace belongs in relationships, between God and humanity and to our relationships with each other. Christians are called to ‘let the peace of Christ rule” in our hearts and “be thankful”. Our inward peace usually defines our outward behaviors, the way we respond to difficult circumstances and to others, whether we agree or disagree with them. Inner peace finds its rest in trusting God’s Sovereignty.

Peace is both a greeting and farewell in the Bible. Salutations and valedictions of peace fill Paul’s letters. Jesus greets the disciples, “Peace to you” as they hid after the crucifixion, a time of anxiety and uncertainty. Jesus offers this same peace to His followers today. Greg Laurie writes, “The only way we can experience the peace of God that passes all human understanding is through the blood of the cross... You cannot have the peace of God until you have peace with God.” This holy season I hope your soul knows the peace of God. Shalom! - dho

**lyrics from It Came Upon A Midnight Clear by Edmund Sears, 1849 

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