“Sing, O barren one who did not bear; burst into song and shout, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate woman will be more than the children of her that is married, says the Lord. Enlarge the site of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left, and your descendants will possess the nations and will settle the desolate towns. Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; do not be discouraged, for you will not suffer disgrace; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the disgrace of your widowhood you will remember no more. For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called. For the Lord has called you like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, like the wife of a man’s youth when she is cast off, says your God. For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In overflowing wrath for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you, says the Lord, your Redeemer. This is like the days of Noah to me: Just as I swore that the waters of Noah would never again go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you and will not rebuke you. For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you. O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted, I am about to set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires. I will make your pinnacles of rubies, your gates of jewels, and all your wall of precious stones. All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the prosperity of your children. In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you. If anyone stirs up strife, it is not from me; whoever stirs up strife with you shall fall because of you. See it is I who have created the smith who blows the fire of coals, and produces a weapon fit for its purpose; I have also created the ravager to destroy. No weapon that is fashioned against you shall prosper, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, says the Lord.”
Peace shall not be removed!
Every week at my church we greet one another at the beginning of each service and we share in communion. I used to not venture too far from my seat during the “meet & greet” part of the service, but lately I want to meet as many people as I can. I get energized by seeing my friends and family, my faith community and I just can’t hide it! I find myself wanting to make sure each person knows that someone “sees” them and that someone is happy to see them! I do this for no other reason than it fills me with joy, hope and peace! Isaiah tells us in chapter 54:10, “…my covenant of peace shall never be removed.” God has a long history of covenants, establishing them and keeping them. It doesn’t matter what circumstances life throws at us, God’s promises are true and He is always with you. We are never alone and even in what seems like our darkest moments, we can hold onto God’s promises. We can always rest in the “PEACE” that only God can provide, when storms rage and the enemy is circling, do not lose HOPE!
Peace is not the absence of chaos or conflict, but rather finding yourself in the midst of that chaos and remaining calm in your heart.
“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
Biblical meaning of PEACE in the Old Testament: The most comprehensive description of shalom is a cosmic order ordained by God through creation (Gn 1) and established with God’s people in the covenant (Ex 20–23). In this cosmic order each part finds its meaning and function as it conforms to God’s purpose. Shalom describes the “realm where chaos is not allowed to enter,” chaos being understood as sickness, war, social strife, or the violation of the covenant.
Seek to be the peace you are searching for in the world. Step out in faith at the next “meet & greet” share yourself with your community and extend the peace of God to and with your friends and family. ~Amen
A voice from the dark called out, ‘The poets must give usimagination of peace, to oust the intense, familiar
imagination of disaster. Peace, not only
the absence of war.’
But peace, like a poem,is not there ahead of itself,
can’t be imagined before it is made,
can’t be known except
in the words of its making,
grammar of justice,
syntax of mutual aid.
A feeling towards it,
dimly sensing a rhythm, is all we have
until we begin to utter its metaphors,
learning them as we speak.
A line of peace might appear
if we restructured the sentence our lives are making,
revoked its reaffirmation of profit and power,
questioned our needs, allowed
long pauses . . .
A cadence of peace might balance its weight
on that different fulcrum; peace, a presence,
an energy field more intense than war,
might pulse then,
stanza by stanza into the world,
each act of living
one of its words, each word
a vibration of light—facets
of the forming crystal.
Peaceful Lord, make your peace known to me in this season of Advent. In our preparations and anticipation, make your presence known to me. ~Amen.
~Peace & Hope~
2 thoughts on “Advent: A Calendar of Devotions”
Sweet words (loved the song, too).
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