By Kelly Wright
Why are the nations so angry? Why do they waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the LORD and against his anointed one. Now then, you kings, act wisely! Be warned, you rulers of the earth! Serve the LORD with reverent fear and rejoice with trembling. Submit to God’s royal son, or he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities— for his anger flares up in an instant. But what joy for all who take refuge in him! Psalm 2:1-2;10-12
Over the last few years, we have experienced troubling pain in our world. COVID-19 shut the world down and took the lives of millions of people. The war in Ukraine rages on. Turmoil in the Middle East has reminded us once again that peace in that region balances upon the razor-edge of a knife.
In Psalm 2 we read that nations were angry and plotted against each other and the Lord.
Power, prestige, and pride have caused strife since the fall. Brother against brother, family against family, and nation against nation. In the time of Psalm 2, nations were bloodthirsty, vying always for more power. Political unrest and anger fueled battle after battle. The hearts of the people longed for peace just as our hearts long for peace today.
While the unrest plagues our world, it also resides in us. Internally, battles are waged every single day. These offensives and counterattacks of pride and prestige and power only ever seem to conquer ourselves and our relationships. Again, we come to Advent, as we do every year, longing for peace.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
After His resurrection, Jesus’ most common message was about peace. He knows what it’s like to live in the fallen world where we face trials of many kinds. He knows our hearts are prone to worry. He knows that our human condition is to try to manufacture our own peace. But the truth that Jesus declared then and continues to declare is that true peace comes from Him and Him alone. His peace is nothing that the world understands. It often isn’t the peace we think we need because we can’t understand it either. But once we experience the peace of Jesus, our hearts are able to rest in Him and not be troubled or afraid, despite our circumstances.
Advent reminds us that the peace of Jesus is always with us.
The word Advent means arrival. As we remember and reflect on Jesus’ birth, we also remember the moments in which Jesus has arrived in our personal lives, and we look forward to Jesus coming again. Jesus came into the broken, fallen world over 2000 years ago and He came to bring us peace.
Where are you feeling unsettled? Where is God inviting you to take refuge in Him? Where do you need the peace of Christ this Advent Season?