The first week of Advent we light the candle of prophecy. This candle represents the hope for the coming Messiah the prophets spoke and wrote about in the Old Testament. The candle of prophecy also symbolizes our need for a Savior and Messiah today. It reminds us of the hope of Jesus’ imminent return.
This past Sunday, we lit the candle of Bethlehem. This is the candle of peace. The coming Messiah was going to bring peace on earth to all people. Those who were awaiting the first coming of Christ understood this peace to be attained and maintained by political rule. They expected Jesus to be a mighty political and military ruler.
Isaiah 9:6 NIV
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And He will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
While Jesus was on the earth, He displayed all the characteristics of a strong ruler. Jesus confronted the spiritual leader’s lack of a true love for God. The religious leaders at the time of Jesus were popular and powerful, but Jesus became such an impact in the region, the leaders plotted His death.
Jesus did not fear Roman leadership. He admired the faith of a Roman soldier who came to Jesus to heal his child. Pilate was surprised by the calmness of Jesus when he was questioning who He was. The hardened soldier at Jesus’ crucifixion had never encountered a man like Christ.
People were upset and confused when Jesus did not position Himself to take political and military leadership. They expected Jesus to ride into Jerusalem on a war horse. Instead, Jesus came on the symbol of peace and humility. He displayed a personal peace regardless of circumstance because of His relationship to the Father and the Holy Spirit. His offer of peace did not leave at his death, but expanded. Jesus is the only way to peace on all the earth.
How is your level of personal peace?
Do circumstances raise or lower your peace?
Do worry and anxiety crowd out peace in your life?
On this second week of Advent, light a candle in your home as a reminder that Jesus has made His peace available to you this Christmas season.