Fourth Sunday of Advent: Peace

Through our Advent Journey, we have practiced a rhythm of watching and waiting by looking at God’s faithfulness, God’s love, and the joy that God brings us. This morning we light the fourth candle, the Candle of Peace. Our scripture is from Micah 5:2-5

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.”

Therefore Israel will be abandoned
until the time when she who is in labor bears a son,
and the rest of his brothers return
to join the Israelites.

He will stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth.

And he will be our peace
when the Assyrians invade our land
and march through our fortresses. [1]

 We live in a frantic world. A world full of anxiety and worry. Even as we approach Christmas, many of us are filled with stress about the details of Christmas gatherings, managing your finances, the prospects of seeing certain relatives, or the reality of a holiday without a loved one. The Most Wonderful Time of the Year can quickly become The Most Stressful Time of the Year.

Micah tells about a coming leader who will “be our peace even when the Assyrians invade our lands.” Sometimes, it is easy to miss this in hearing the text, but if the Assyrians are invading, then there will be destruction, there will be death, and there will be suffering. The Word of God says that “When” this happens that this leader will be our peace. Our strength. Our security.

When your job lets you go; when you begin life without a loved one; when your finances don’t seem to match up; when that relative reminds you that you’re not doing something right; and when your faith seems to be doing somersaults- Jesus will be our peace. The prophet Isaiah reminds us:

And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.[2]


Let us Pray:

Almighty God,
In these troubled times, help us to find our security and our protection in the shadow of your wings. Send the presence of your Spirit in our lives that we might be filled with peace in the midst of life’s storms.  We ask these things in the name of Jesus, our Savior. Amen.

[1]The New International Version(Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Mic 5:2–5.

[2]The New International Version(Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Is 9:6.

About Steve LaMotte

Husband of Andrea and father of four amazing children. Pastor at Avenue United Methodist Church in Milford, Delaware.
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