An Advent List: 3 Ways to Practice PEACE Dr. Craig Kraft
/ Monday, December 7, 2020
When the angels appeared before the shepherds to herald the birth of Jesus Christ, they praised God, saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth of people he favors” (Luke 2:14).
Peace is an essential theme at Christmas time. It can be hard to feel peace when the world around us is in such turmoil and uncertainty, but God wants us to experience his peace. In John 16, Jesus comforts his disciples and prepares them for his departure. He then says, “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world” (John 16:33).
Another disruption to our peace comes from our relationships. Often we have broken or dysfunctional relationships that suck the peace out of our lives. The Anglican Church has a worship tradition of passing the peace. It is based on Matthew 5: 23-24, and it is a call to be reconciled with our brothers and sisters. Unreconciled relationships have spoiled many holidays.
3 Suggestions for Peace
Here are three simple things we can do to celebrate and experience God’s peace through the holidays.
- Memorize Philippians 4:6-7 (or another verse about the peace of God)
“Don't worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
- Write a prayer/letter to God and tell him what's troubling you. Ask God to replace your anxiety with peace.
- Pass the peace. We are not supposed to hug or shake hands right now, but reach out by phone, zoom, email, or text and mend the relationship causing you stress. Remember these three important phrases, "I'm sorry,” "thank you," and "I love you."
This blog, which is the second in our Advent List series, has been written by Dr. Craig Kraft, the Executive Director of Outreach Canada.