The second week of Advent brings us to the candle that represents the peace Jesus brings. Our lack of peace—of calm—in the Christmas season often comes because we make the parties but miss God’s presence. We fill our days but don’t still our souls. We give to others but don’t dedicate ourselves to the cause of Christ. Today, as you reflect on this week and the encounters we discussed, be encouraged and know that even if you take account of your week and find it marked by anything but peace, Jesus is ready and waiting. He wants to give you true peace, found only by resting in Him.
the adulterous woman is forgiven
Nothing brings inner turmoil like hidden sin. When sin is found out, turmoil turns to panic. When the adulterous woman was brought to Jesus, her sin made known, she must have thought, in terror, This is the end. The end of my reputation, the end of my relationships, the end of my life. Jesus demonstrated that no sin is unforgivable, and when the woman experienced this kind of mercy, this kind of forgiveness, a life of striving to keep sin at bay became a life of stillness that must have brought an indescribable peace.
the blind man is healed
The blind man found peace in knowing Christ—not just as a Healer, but as the Son of Man. Look at his response to the Pharisees. In their near- manic attempts to use him to corner Jesus, he exhibited a resolute inner peace, knowing that Jesus was not like any other. He was given physical and spiritual healing, which led him to peace.
the rich young ruler
When you hold too tightly to something, life becomes one great act of desperation to keep it. Jesus offers a life of humility, where a heart can be at peace with possessing only what He provides. We saw in the rich young ruler the part we play in the peace God gives. We can accept it. Or we can deny it. How heartbreaking that the rich young ruler held so tightly to his possessions that he could not embrace the peace Jesus offered.
a changed Zacchaeus
We saw Zacchaeus go from desperation and seeking his own good to the freedom of knowing generosity and the peace that comes with a transformed heart. His life was entirely altered, his mindset completely rearranged. When Jesus called him by name, it’s as if He calmed the storm of striving in Zacchaeus and gave him a peace that only the One the wind and waves obey can give.
Our encounters with Jesus in the present day are different than those who walked the very dirt he trod, it’s true, but they are not any less powerful. We aren’t waiting for His presence as they were, because we have been given the Holy Spirit, God living within us. Look for opportunities every day to encounter Jesus! Don’t let the distractions of your day, of this Advent season, cause you to miss Him and the peace He offers when we trust in Him.
If the second week of December has you feeling frantic, a little behind, and weighed down, be spurred on by the words Moses had for the Israelites when they too felt truly overwhelmed: “Do not be afraid . . . the Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:13–14 NIV). The words Jesus spoke to His disciples hours before his death were, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). Peace won’t magically wrap the presents, it’s true, but it will set the tone for the encounters others have with Jesus through you, which is the very best gift you can give.
How has your encounter with Jesus brought you peace? What aspect of being still, especially in this season, is the most difficult for you?
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