Today, we celebrate the second Sunday of the Advent season. As we walked into church this morning, the candle of hope, from the first week of Advent, was already lit. It’s wasn’t too far into the service when a family came forward to read a passage of Scripture and light the second candle of the Advent season, the candle of peace, once again signified by its purple color.
As you may recall, the candle of hope symbolizes the coming person of Jesus, fully human and yet fully God. Isaiah prophesied that a Savior would be born – the hope of the world. It is with this anticipation that we wait in hopeful expectation for the coming of Jesus.
As we grow closer to the birth of Jesus, we lit the candle of peace today. It is noteworthy that each new candle is ignited using the flame from the prior week’s candle. So the hope of last week progresses as we learn more about the coming of Jesus. Primarily, we look to the Scriptures to think about the peace of Christ and how the world can be blessed by promoting peace with the teachings of Jesus.
Sometimes, this candle is also referred to as the Bethlehem candle – reminding us of the place where our Savior was born! This second week of Advent also reminds us that Jesus will be coming as the Prince of Peace, one of the many titles that He is identified with. And within the Christian community peace and faith are very closely related.
Those of us who have grown in the church have been drawn closer to Jesus as we mature in our walk with Him. There’s something about faith and the understanding of grace that leads to a more peaceful existence. During this week, our reflections are to recall our faith, the peace of Jesus and next week’s celebration of joy as the time for the coming of Jesus draws ever closer.
Reflections, prayer and gratitude are the hallmark of this week. By the way, it should be noted that originally, the idea of Advent had to do with the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior. However, by the Middle Ages, that idea somewhat disappeared and Advent became a time of celebrating the First Coming of Jesus – the one we celebrate at Christmas.
Our verse for tonight comes from the prophet Isaiah, the one who predicted so much about the coming of our Savior. Isaiah tells us, in Isaiah 9:6-7, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.”
Isaiah calls out that Jesus will be the Prince of Peace and there will be no end to peace. What a wonderful thing to look forward to. My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to reflect on the coming peace of Jesus. My prayer is that we move ever closer to the celebration of the birth of Christ on Christmas that we will still be filled with childlike wonder and amazement. Have a great day in the Lord grace and peace…