In preparing for the arrival of the Prince of Peace, the second week of Advent calls us to light a candle of peace.  Peace is a promise that flows out of the hope that is born in the first week of advent. Peace—“Shalom” in Hebrew— is a deep and powerful condition that is all-encompassing, a wholeness, complete serenity, marked by an overflowing of inner and outer joy.

Peace is a gift we are given and something we cultivate as a fruit of the spirit.  It is who Jesus is, but peace is more than that.  It’s who we can be too.  Fruit grows, multiples, and nourishes.  Practicing spiritual disciplines help us cultivate the fruit of peace. The double portion blessing of peace is that it’s God’s gift to us and it’s our garden to tend.  Externally and internally we were made to and can abide in a state of shalom. 

The Son of God who exchanged his royal robes for a veil of flesh is our peace-promiser, peace-giver, and peace-keeper.  We can be at peace because we have this confidence that our God is always at work (John 5:17).  He never slumbers or sleeps (Ps. 121:4).  His holy peace, which is beyond our comprehension, guards our minds and hearts (Phil. 4:7).  His peace prepares a table for us despite our enemies (Ps. 23). His peace is our gift this Christmas (John 14:27). 

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face towards you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:44-26).