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When I first planned the inserts for Advent, I decided Week Two would be “make peace.” But that was before fires exploded across Southern California, driving friends from their homes and offices, disrupting thousands of lives, and cutting terrible swaths of destruction across three counties. I prayed for a long time, asking God if it was appropriate to encourage our community to make peace at such a time.

And the still small voice answered, “What better time?”

When do we need peace more than when we are anxious, fearful, and besieged? Even as we grieve loss, we can look for comfort. In the face of turmoil, disaster, or simple unhappiness, where should we turn but to the coming Prince of Peace?

To allow the storms of life to shove us off course is to turn our back on all Jesus has taught us about faith. We need to set aside our discord to prepare for His love. We must reconcile with those who have hurt us to accept His healing. We must seek peace to embrace grace.

To properly welcome the Christ Child, we must let the world fall away. We must set aside the distractions and distresses in order to focus on the clarity and calm that comes from welcoming the Babe into our hearts. We must make peace with God, with each other, and with ourselves.

In the loud, clanging tumult of our daily lives, God offers us a quiet space, close to His heart. There, we will find solace, succor, and strength. There we will know peace.

On this second Sunday of Advent, let us certainly pray for those affected by the fires, the first responders, and all those helping ease their neighbor’s burden. But let us also pray for peace – peace in our world, peace in our fellowship, peace in our own hearts. May that peace allow us to gently welcome the Christmas King.

“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.”
Isaiah 9:6