Grace and peace to you in this holy season of Advent. The second week of Advent, we focus on the gift which Christ comes to give. The second candle is lit for peace and we pray for peace, peace in our hearts, peace in our homes, peace in our churches, peace in our communities, and peace throughout the world.
This Nativity scene vividly shows a wall which is now built, separating Bethlehem, the place of Jesus’ birth, from the surrounding region. It vividly demonstrates the lack of peace in the world, the dividing walls between people of varying cultures. It demonstrates all that would divide us.
The candle lit for this week in Advent, is a prayer, a prayer that God will bring peace in this region of the world, in the Palestinian territories in Israel and in other places in the world where war and conflict and famine and disaster divides people from one another.
Christ comes, the Prince of Peace, and the declaration for this second week in Advent is the strong word of John, the Baptizer, who came saying, “Prepare the way of the Lord. Make God’s paths straight. Every valley will be lifted up, every mountain and hill will be brought low. The crooked will be made straight. The rough places will be made smooth and all flesh shall see it together.
In this holy season, let us pray for peace in Bethlehem, the place where Jesus was born. And as we pray for Bethlehem, let us pray for all places in our world and even our own hearts, that the peace of Christ may come.
The Advent prayer is always for us, “Come Lord Jesus. Come Lord Jesus. Bring peace in our time. Come Lord Jesus.”