The Advent candle for this coming Sunday is the Peace Candle. In our world today, both outward and inward peace seems to be a greater challenge than ever. The strife in the Middle East, the long battles that never cease in Ukraine, and the soaring rates of mental illness, anxiety and stress that tempt us all.
Is peace possible any more?

The angels proclaimed “peace on earth.” Inner peace begins and ends with your relationship to your Heavenly Father. God’s word says, “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is focused on you because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3) Personalize that as you read these words and say out loud–“God will keep ME in perfect peace….”It is a choice as to what you focus on. One of the great gifts of Advent is that it invites us to focus on gifts that God is longing to give us.

There is also the challenge of peace, not just within, but without. “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God” (Matthew 5:) Who do you need to call or write a note to reconcile some old hurt or division? Maybe it is even within your own family or place of work or neighbor? For me it begins in prayer. The more I pray for a person the wonderful result is that I start seeing that person the way God sees them.

To make the most of this Advent season, join me in praying the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi: “Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. And where there is sadness, only joy.

Peace be yours, Bill