The Fourth Sunday Of Advent

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, Counsellor,

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.                                  Isaiah 9:6-7

 

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Peace!

 

Last Sunday I wrote of joy:

My joy is not dependent upon my circumstances

but instead comes from my relationship with my Creator,

and that never changes.

God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

 

The same must be said of peace.

My peace is not the absence of conflict

but the presence of my LORD

and He is with me always.

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My father died last spring,

a friend in Delaware is mourning the death of her husband this fall

while yet another is grieving the death of her son.

On Thursday we suffered the loss of a dear friend and neighbor.

So how do we celebrate Christmas in the midst of such hurting?

Where is our peace?

 

For me it is in God’s Word.

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Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee;

because he trusteth in Thee.                          Isaiah 26:3

 

I am reminded that God is my peace and I choose to trust in Him.

 

And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.

And My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;                                           Isaiah 32:17-18

 

O that thou hadst hearkened to My commandments! Then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.     Isaiah 48:18

 

I choose Christ,

I choose to live under God’s law.

I choose to submit to the leading of His Holy Spirit.

Therefore God is my peace.

 

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.                            Philippians 4:7

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As I write this the snow is falling

– a perfect beginning for the morning of Christmas Eve.

We will attend a worship service and praise the LORD.

I will give thanks

for those whose lives have touched and blessed mine in some way

and who are no longer with us.

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A father who did not know the LORD

but was an example to me of what a father should be.

Because of his love for me

I was not afraid to trust in my heavenly Father.

 

A man I never met who brought joy to the life of my friend.

 

A young man

whom I had the privilege of knowing as a child in our church

and watching grow into a man, a husband, and a father.

 

A friend and neighbor who cared for our critters

when we traveled to Delaware for visits with family.

Who came with his wife

and spent the morning harvesting our corn crop – by hand.

Who sat on our front porch eating fried chicken –

sharing food and stories.

 

I will remember these lives that have touched mine and I will have peace

– a peace that is not based on my circumstances –

a peace comes from trusting in God.

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Jesus said it best –

 

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you;

not as the world giveth, give I unto you.

Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.     John 14:27

 

My prayer for you this last Sunday of Advent:

 

The LORD lift us His countenance upon thee and give thee peace.

Numbers 6:26

 

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 our joy.

O come, O come, Emmamuel.

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