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Lighting the Candle of Peace

Posted by Joel Gilbert on

Candle 3: The Candle of Peace

Good news often elicits a response: cheering for a touchdown, shouts of joy at the birth of a child, an exuberance over an excellent grade – all of these things are often followed by a proclamation of some sort.

In the coming of Jesus, we see the good news of his birth proclaimed among so many different people. From the prophets and their mysterious prophecies to Mary and her impromptu song to the Angels’ heavenly choral concert and the gleeful response of the Shepherds; good news bursts forth throughout the Christmas story in proclamations of various kinds.

The Prophet Isaiah extoled the virtues of the coming plan of the Lord (Isaiah 35:1-10):

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;

it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing.

The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.

They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.

Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance,

with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.

For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;

the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water;

in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it.

It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.

No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;

they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there.

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing;

everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. [1]

 Mary, in response to the call that God placed on her life to bear His son, proclaimed in song: (Luke 1:46-55)

My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.

For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.

He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;

he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate;

he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,

as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.” [2]

 The Angel’s simple message to the shepherds was (Luke 2:10-14):

“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

            14         “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”[3]

Each year, our Christmas celebrations proclaim the peace of God, which is, to humanity, for those who choose to believe. Today, we light the candle of Peace in recognition of the peace, which was proclaimed from the prophets, the Angels, and even Mary. Has the peace from God become the peace of God in your life?

 

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2016), Is 35:1–10.

[2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2016), Lk 1:46–55.

[3] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2016), Lk 2:10–14.

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