The Gift of Peace

Amy Clemens

Read: Luke 2:8-15

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (vv. 13-14)

Growing up in the South, I remember being interrogated in a rather condescending manner, “Do you have peace with God?” Maybe it’s just a Bible Belt kind of question, but it felt shaming, and my frightened heart, insecure already in relationship to the Holy, would go a little deeper into hiding.

Now I realize that I did and do have such peace. God of the Angel Armies declared peace and proclaimed it to shepherds on a hillside more than 2,000 years ago. The gospel shouts, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

This is peace from heaven’s perspective: there is no war between God and his beloved! The advent was the beginning; Christ’s blood was the payment for the sin and death God warred against, and the resurrection and ascension signaled new power and presence of the triune God with and for us. We are at complete peace in the most important relationship we have. So, light the fourth candle of the Advent wreath, the candle celebrating a peace that makes no earthly sense.

—Amy Clemens

Prayer:
Giver of good gifts, thank you that we don’t have to struggle with our own insecurities about whether we have peace with you. That work is finished. You have spoken loudly and clearly in the advent, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of your Son.