The Fourth Sunday of Advent- December 24th

PEACE BRIGHTENS THE DAWN OF A NEW DAY: WALKING IN PEACE

Imported from old computer 3158

Scripture for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16

Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26

Luke 1:26-38, 47-55

Romans 16:25-27

These Scripture readings are just a few examples of God’s faithfulness and strength that fill the Bible. In 2 Samuel, when God asks David to make a temple, David is reminded of God’s power and presence in his past, and he is promised the same for his future. In Luke, the angel tells Mary that she too, will be doing something significant. She will be the mother of God’s Son, Jesus! But Mary is assured that God is with her and she need not fear. Psalm 89 and Romans 16 praise our God who is steadfast, faithful, firm, and strong.

Very soon the Dawn of Light will be fully revealed. Just as we know the sun will rise each day and the sun’s power gives us life, through the birth of Jesus we can be certain that God is always present, faithful, and powerful. God gives us life. God’s presence through Christ will be with us; God’s power in Christ will help us. No matter what we face, we can journey on in peace, for we know…

God’s presence + God’s power = God’s peace.

.“Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of Christ.”    ~Sheila Walsh

ADVENT WREATH/CANDLES

Turn off the lights and sit in the darkness for a few minutes…

Reflect on the times in your life that were challenging, heartbreaking, or conflicting. Were you able to feel God’s power and presence with you? Were you able to find peace? Thank God for bringing you through those times. If you are currently undergoing difficult times, ask God for the awareness of God’s steadfast presence and powerful strength. Ask God for peace. If you are currently blessed with a good and peaceful time, ask God to make you an instrument of God’s peace for others.

Light the candles of hope, love, joy and now the candle of peace.

When I was a resident advisor in college, I arranged for the students in my dorm to see the sunrise one morning. Several of us awakened early, walked to the hill across the campus, sat on our blankets, and eagerly awaited the sun. Soon after the scheduled time for the sun to rise, we realized that the clouds prevented us from seeing it at all. I took them to breakfast to make up for the disappointment!

This Advent, we have watched and waited for the Dawn of Light. As our devotions moved us toward the gradual revealing of the sun, God has moved us from our darkness into the Dawn of Light. Now God’s love is being fully revealed in Jesus! I imagine one day when we see Jesus in all his glory, we will feel the warmth of his love and see the brightness of his countenance, much like the full light of day!

Here in our earthly life, we often have clouds. Yet we know the sun is still there, lighting our ways and warming our days. There are even glorious times when openings in the clouds allow sunbeams to shimmer down. In Jesus, we have God-with-us, guiding with light and warming with love. Yes, we may have clouds- clouds of doubt, distraction, or difficulty. But we know the Son is here and gives us reassuring peace. There are even moments when his presence and power are like glorious rays of light beaming through the clouds. We can walk on in peace, feeling Christ’s presence and power for each step of our journey.

God who brings us the Dawn of Light,

Thank you for bringing us to the Dawn! Thank you for Jesus, whose presence and power help us to walk in the light of peace. Please remove any clouds we have created so that we may see you fully revealed. Help us to be your peace. Amen.

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