Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Advent Readings | Jesus Is Our Peace Quotes

Themes of the Advent Story: Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy

Below our Advent reflections that can help prepare and you can also access more Advent reflections daily on our Facebook page.

Jesus Christ is not one more lovely story pointing to these underlying realities  Jesus is the underlying reality to which all the stories point. + Timothy Keller, Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ 

Peace | Week 2

Peace | Found in Focusing on and Trusting in Jesus

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. + Isaiah 26:3

Peace | God Invites Us into Christmas Story 

The peace of God breaks through to the world as God the Father tells the Christmas story to us, God the Son lives the Christmas story for us, and God the Spirit brings the Christmas story to life in us. 

+ Sully

Peace | From Creche to Cross to Peace-Bringing Christ

He found a Golgotha, where He was crucified, even in Bethlehem, where He was born; for to His tenderness then the straws were almost as sharp as the thorns after, and the manger as uneasy as the cross at last. From the creche to the cross is an inseparable line. What a wonder that the eternal Word of God did not shun being born. Grace and Truth is a person  Jesus come to you in the flesh.

+ John Donne

Peace | Receiving the Prince of Peace

He says to ask and it will be given you, to seek and you will find. In other words, He says that if you pray for Him, He will come to you, and as far as I know, there is only one way to find out whether that is true, and that is to try it. Pray for Him and see if He comes, in ways that only you will recognize. He says to follow Him, to walk as He did into the world's darkness, to throw yourself away as He threw Himself away for love of the dark world. And He says that if you follow Him, you will end up on some kind of cross, but that beyond your cross and even on your cross you will also find your heart's desire, the peace that passes all understanding. 

+ Frederick Buechner, "Come and See"

Peace | Glories Stream From Heaven Afar

Sleep in heavenly peace.
Silent night, holy night,
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia,
Christ the Savior is born!

Father Joseph Mohr, 1818 A.D. | Josh Garrels and Mason Jar Music "Silent Night" Live

Peace | Unspeakably Wise and Wisely Speechless

Maker of the sun, He is made under the sun. In the Father He remains, from His mother He goes forth. Creator of heaven and earth, He was born on earth under heaven. Unspeakably wise, He is wisely speechless. Filling the world, He lies in a manger. Ruler of the stars, He nurses at His mother’s bosom. He is both great in the nature of God, and small in the form of a servant. 

+ Saint Augustine (354 – 430 A.D.)

Peace | Devoted Jesus Give Us Rest

Pie Jesu, | Devoted Jesus,
Qui tollis peccata mundi, | Who takes away the sins of the world, 
Dona eis requiem. | Give them rest.
Agnus Dei, | Lamb of God,
Qui tollis peccata mundi, | Who takes away the sins of the world,

Dona eis requiem, | Give them rest.

+ Andrew Lloyd Webber, 1985 A.D. | Future of Forestry "Pie Jesu" Live

Peace | Belief That Exhales

Worry is belief gone wrong. Because you don't believe that God will get it right. Peace is belief that exhales. Because you believe that God's provision is everywhere 
 like air. In the thin air of Advent, you may not even know how to say it out loud: "I thought it would be easier." And your God comes near: I will provide the way. You may not even know who to tell: "I thought it would be different." And your God draws close: I will provide grace for the gaps. You may not even know how to find words for it: "I thought I would be ... more." And your God reaches out: I will provide Me

Peace | There Is A Mediator

"'If only there were someone to mediate between us, someone to bring us together' ... 'for there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all people.' These verses (Job 9:33-34; I Timothy 2:5-6) are the key to the whole Bible, for they crystallize the sum and substance of the message." 

+ J.I. Packer

Peace | O Come O Come Emmanuel

"O come, Desire of nations, bind
In One the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace."

+ 8th Century Monks

Peace | We Are Not Alone on Our Journey

God came to us because He wanted to join us on the road, to listen to our story, and to help us realize that we are not walking in circles but moving towards the house of peace and joy. This is the great mystery of Christmas that continues to give us comfort and consolation: we are not alone on our journey. The God of love who gave us life sent His only Son to be with us at all times and in all places, so that we never have to feel lost in our struggles but always can trust that He walks with us. The challenge is to let God be who He wants to be. A part of us clings to our aloneness and does not allow God to touch us where we are most in pain. Often we hide from Him precisely those places in ourselves where we feel guilty, ashamed, confused, and lost. Thus we do not give Him a chance to be with us where we feel most alone. Christmas is the renewed invitation not to be afraid and to let Him – whose love is greater than our own hearts and minds can comprehend – be our companion. 

+ Henri Nouwen

Peace | Born Among Us that We Might Be Born Again

Dear God, in the darkness of the virgin's womb the holy child grows. In the darkness of the world's pain, the blessed light begins to kindle. In the darkness of our own doubting of Thee and of ourselves, the great hope begins to rise again like a lump in the throat: the hope that Thou wilt come to us truly, that the child will be born again in our midst, the Prince of Peace in a world at war, the hope that Thou wilt ransom us and our world from the darkness that seeks to destroy us. Be born among us that we may ourselves be born. Be born within us that by words and deeds of love we may bear the tidings of Thy birth to a world that dies for lack of love. We ask it in the child's name. Amen. 

+ Frederick Buechner

"Jose y Maria" by Everett Patterson

Peace | "Jose y Maria" and the Courage to Believe He Knows Who We Are and What Will Give Us Peace

Consider what the announcement of the angel means to Joseph. Mary is pregnant, and Joseph knows he is not the father. He decides to break off the engagement, but the angel shows up and says, “Marry her. She is pregnant through the Holy Spirit.” But if Joseph marries her, everybody in that shame-and-honor society will know that this child was not born nine or ten months after they got married; they will know she was already pregnant. That would mean either Joseph and Mary had sex before marriage or she was unfaithful to him, and as a result, they are going to be shamed, socially excluded, and rejected. They are going to be second-class citizens forever. So the message is “If Jesus Christ comes into your life, you are going to kiss your stellar reputation good-bye.” All of Joseph’s friends are going to say, “Either you got her pregnant before you were married, or she was unfaithful to you.” The truth isn’t something his friends will understand and, therefore, they will always think he’s either crazy or gullible ("She is pregnant through the Holy Spirit?"). Today, in non-Western countries a profession of Christian faith can be dangerous to your life. And in Western countries there is, increasingly, ridicule and contempt for those holding to historical Christian beliefs. All this takes courage to face. I know this is intimidating, but it’s also an adventure. He made us. He knows who we are, what we were made for, what will give us peace. That means we cannot know who we are until He comes into our lives and then, through obedience to Him, learn our true identity and purpose.

Timothy Keller, Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ 

Christ is all,

Rev. Mike “Sully” Sullivan

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