Advent takes place during the four weeks before Christmas, and it’s a time when some Christians prepare to celebrate Jesus’s first coming and look forward to His return. During Advent, many Christians reflect on different themes each week, and one theme is God’s peace.
Peace isn’t something we earn. It’s not something we can work to receive on our own. Peace is a gift Jesus freely gives. We see this truth in John 14, when Jesus comforts His disciples as the time of His death draws closer. He promises them the Holy Spirit, and another thing too—peace. “Peace I leave with you,” Jesus tells His disciples in verse 27. “My peace I give you.” Paul also references the peace Jesus gives us in Philippians 4:7: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Peace is not something God dangles way out in front of us as a reward for our future successes. He offers it to us now. In fact, when we celebrate Christmas, we are celebrating the coming of the Prince of Peace to this earth. And He came bearing these gifts we celebrate during Advent: hope, faith, peace, joy, and love.
As we go through this Advent season and prepare to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, let us accept His gift. Let us allow His peace—perfect peace that is beyond our understanding—to saturate every part of our lives. Receiving this gift doesn’t mean we are going to feel at peace all the time—that won’t be possible until Jesus returns. But it does mean we can know that the Prince of Peace is with us all the time, even when life feels incredibly unpeaceful. And maybe when others notice this transcendent peace in our lives, they’ll want to experience it as well. • Becca Wierwille
• The Hebrew word translated “peace” in the Bible is shalom. It’s a rich word that means everything is complete and whole and all things are operating in right relationship to each other. While we will never fully experience this type of peace until Jesus returns, He gives us glimpses of it through His Spirit, His Word (the Bible), and His people (the church). How have you seen glimpses of shalom in your life? If nothing comes to mind, you can ask God for this anytime.
“Peace I [Jesus] leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 (NIV)