What is Advent? Peace.
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Different members of Rockland will be helping us maximize Advent this season in these emails. Today, Karen Parks helps us prepare our hearts and minds for the celebration of Christ's birth.
I’ve said these things to you so that you will have peace in me. In the world you have distress. But be encouraged! I have conquered the world.” John 16:33
We’ve been robbed!
This is an odd beginning for an Advent meditation, but in this topsy-turvey year of 2020 it is easy to think of the losses (too numerous to list) that we have all experienced! For many, it has created a heightened sense of anxiety and angst, and a general lack of peace.
Peace. What is that really? A lack of conflict? Quiet? Unity? All good things.
Yet that is where the biggest heist has occurred. Peace in scripture is a word with so much depth that we have often missed the meaning and blessing of what God has for us.
Christ came to bring us peace. The word is shalom in Hebrew. It means completeness, wholeness, and reconciliation. It is not a lack of conflict or noise but a presence of serenity. It is not temporary, but permanent. Shalom is not an escape from the storm but is calm within the storm.
This is the true gift of advent. Real peace comes to us from our creator to make us whole and reconciled with him.
May you find Shalom in this Advent season.
Lord, Thank you for the gift of Jesus. Thank you for giving us grace and peace and showing us the way home to you. Heal our hearts, our relationships, and our world. Thank you for being shalom. Amen.
For more on the meaning of Shalom, check out The Bible Project. They do a great job of illustrating and explaining Scripture.