Candle Lighting (2 minutes)
Commonly in Advent, lighting a candle is used to symbolize Jesus as the Light of the World coming into darkness. So, if you’re up for it, find a candle somewhere in your house. (Note: It doesn’t matter what it looks like or smells like. If you’d like, you can also purchase an Advent candle wreath wherever you get your Christmas supplies.)
Once you have a candle, turn off or dim the lights, light your candle, and have one person read the following prayer out loud:
God of Peace,
Your Son, Jesus, is your greatest gift to us.
He is a sign of your peace.
Help us walk in that love during the weeks of Advent,
As we wait and prepare for his coming.
We pray in the name of Jesus, our Savior.
Read this Overview (2 minutes)
Between the civil unrest, the seeming crumbling of the global economy, unprecedented unemployment, millions and millions of people sick and dying—2020 may be the closest thing that many of us will ever know to the experience of war. More than ever before, we need peace. The problem is that for many of us, peace feels like a far off possibility.
But, what if the problem isn’t that peace is so far off? What if the problem is that we don’t actually understand peace as the Bible means it? In the Bible, peace is more than just the absence of conflict. Shalom, the Hebrew word for peace, is when God steps into creation and sets the world right. Not just by stopping evil, but by restoring all that it’s taken. The peace that God brings is not about the absence of something; it’s about the presence of Someone.
The kind of peace God brings is not passive; it is God actively breaking into what’s wrong and making it right. So, if the shalom of God is the power of God, then our path of formation and transformation as disciples of Jesus is not to remain peacekeepers, but to become peacemakers. We get to prepare the way for his return by actively making peace around us.
Watch & Discuss (10 minutes)
For the next part of your time, watch the following video from BibleProject:
Discuss the following question together:
- What is one thing that stood out to you as you watched the video?
Read Scripture (10 minutes)
Next, have someone read John 14v26–27 out loud and spend a few moments in silence afterwards.
Discussion Questions (15 minutes)
Spend some time working through the following questions:
- Where did I experience God’s peace this last week?
- Where do I need to experience God’s peace this coming week?
- How can I embody God’s peace this week?
Practice for the Week Ahead (5 minutes)
For the week ahead, take some time to think through where you need peace or God’s wholeness in your life. Where do you need to actively work towards peace in your life? Take an inventory of the most significant relationships in your life. How can you embody peace towards those people? Is there a relationship in particular that you need to make right?
Peacemaking goes beyond your relational circle; it intersects with the world around you. Beyond your relational community, how can you embody peace to those who have experienced brokenness and need an experience of God’s shalom? It could be making meals for our lunch drop with Because People Matter, make a donation to an organization seeking to bring peace through justice (like Refugee Care Collective, Know Me Now, or HOLLA Mentors, etc.)