The Second Sunday of Advent is the Sunday of Peace. The Isaiah reading makes sense. The Romans reading makes sense. The Matthew reading . . . well it doesn’t really fit the theme. Or does it.
I suppose it all comes back to what we think John the Baptist was trying to do; he wasn’t particularly interested in bring peace. John’s mission was to introduce his cousin, Jesus the Messiah, to the people. As it turns out, a critical part of Jesus‘ mission was peace so as long as we don’t get too caught up in John’s curious, if not violent, language, we can still see this as an excellent text for this Sunday.
But, you may be asking, how can we preach about peace, how can we have a Sunday called the Sunday of Peace, when there is so very little peace in the world? If all we have to offer is facile and simplistic notions of what peace is . . . then we have nothing to say. However, if we look at what peace means or should mean at its core then we have something to say. Peace in any meaningful use of the word is impossible without being at peace with ourselves and it is impossible to be at peace with ourselves without being at peace with God. That is the true crux of the matter, peace with God.
The good news, and it is good news, is that we can be at peace with God. This is the purpose, one among many, of the second Sunday of Advent; to remind us that we can be at peace with God and from that comes all the possibilities of peace in every other area.
Knox Presbyterian Is that a call to peace?
St. Mark’s Presbyterian Is that a call to peace?
PS It is so good to be back! I am used to kicking off the new Liturgical / Lectionary / Church year with the First Sunday of Advent but it is a delight to begin no matter which Sunday.