The Candle of Peace

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We light this candle as a symbol of the Prince of Peace.
On this the 4th Sunday of Advent we celebrate Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. 
Our Scripture comes from Isaiah 9:6-7

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder:     and his name shall be called  Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end,  upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.  

We light this candle as a symbol of the Prince of Peace. May the visitation of Your Holy Spirit, O God, make us ready for the coming of Jesus, our hope and joy. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

As I consider the state of our world this day I thought of the poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, written on December 25, 1864 –

I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Their old familiar carols play,

And wild and sweet

The words repeat

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

 

And thought how, as the day had come,

The belfries of all Christendom

Had rolled along

The unbroken song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

 

Till, ringing, singing on its way,

The world revolved from night to day,

A voice, a chime,

A chant sublime

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

 

Then from each black accursed mouth

The cannon thundered in the South,

And with the sound

The carols drowned

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

 

It was as if an earthquake rent

The hearthstone of a continent,

And made forlorn

The households born

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

 

And in despair I bowed my head;

“There is no peace on earth,” I said;

“For hate is strong,

And masks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

 

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

“God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!

The Wrong shall fail,

The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men!”

 

Lord, it would be so easy in this time of such division in our nation, to lose hope. But if we keep our eyes on You we can trust that You will bring us through this. I refuse to listen to the bickering back and forth on all sides. I refuse to speak hate and choose to speak with kindness and compassion. I will give others the courtesy of listening to their concerns and their positions. Even when I disagree I will listen and share my own concerns and opinions calmly and without malice.

Lord, we have moved so far from the principals our nation was founded upon. Many have abandoned the faith this nation was built upon. It would be easy to despair and feel alone.   But there are still those who believe and I choose to be one of them.

God is not dead; nor doth He sleep!

The Wrong shall fail – The Right prevail!

And You, O Lord, will bring peace!

We remember the lessons from Elijah when he was running from Jezebel:

I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken Thy covenant, thrown down Thine altars, and slain Thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.  I Kings 19:14

Elijah felt abandoned. He believed that he was the only one left fighting the battle. But God knew otherwise and told Elijah:

Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. I Kings 19:18

God had a message for Elijah – You are not alone in this fight. There are seven thousand others who are faithful to Me. So get up and return to the battle!

Lord, when I feel alone in the midst of all the confusion – the wars – the natural disasters – all the suffering in all its forms that I see around me – let me remember that I am not alone in the battle – You are with me – You and an army of believers.

GOD IS NOT DEAD, NOR DOTH HE SLEEP

He is working out His plan.   Keep the faith!

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The sun is coming up over the tree tops

A new day is dawning

I can’t wait to see what God has planned for me this day!

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