“I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace.
Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace.
Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous!”
SAY These candles represent hope, preparation, joy, love and peace. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. On Christmas Day, we light candles to remember the peace that Jesus brings to a troubled world.
LIGHT the preceding candles and then the center white candle.
ASK What is peace?
SHARE Peace is when there is no fighting or war. It's the harmony, security, and calm we experience when things are put right and in order.
READ Isaiah 9:2-7 A Son is Born! (The Living Bible)
The people who walk in darkness shall see a great Light–a Light that will shine on all those who live in the land of the shadow of death. For Israel will again be great, filled with joy like that of reapers when the harvest time has come, and like that of men dividing up the plunder they have won.
For God will break the chains that bind his people and the whip that scourges them, just as he did when he destroyed the vast host of the Midianites by Gideon's little band. In that glorious day of peace there will no longer be the issuing of battle gear; no more the bloodstained uniforms of war; all such will be burned.
For unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder. These will be his royal titles: “Wonderful,” “Counselor,” “The Mighty God,” “The Everlasting Father,” “The Prince of Peace.”
His ever-expanding, peaceful government will never end. He will rule with perfect fairness and justice from the throne of his father David. He will bring true justice and peace to all the nations of the world. This is going to happen because the Lord of heaven's armies has dedicated himself to do it!
ART Look at the picture of Mary. What do you notice about this image? What do you notice about the way light shines in darkness and the land of shadow and death? How does peace reveal itself to you in this image?
DISCUSS On this Christmas day, full of gift-giving, we are reminded that Jesus has given us the gift of peace. How do you experience the peace of Christ? Can you think of ways you refuse his gift of peace? Isaiah announces the child will establish an ever-expanding government of peace. What do you imagine that will look like? What are some ways that you can be a peacemaker?
SING Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the new-born King!
Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled."
Joyful, all ye nations, rise, Join the triumph of the skies; With th' angelic host proclaim, "Christ is born in Bethlehem."
Hark! the herald angels sing,"Glory to the new-born King"
Hail! the heaven-born Prince of peace! Hail! the Son of Righteousness! Light and life to all he brings, Risen with healing in his wings
Mild he lays his glory by, Born that man no more may die:
Born to raise the son of earth, Born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the new-born King!"
PRAYER Let the just rejoice, for their justifier is born. Let the sick and infirm rejoice, For their savior is born.
Let the captives rejoice, For their Redeemer is born.
Let slaves rejoice, for their Master is born. Let free men rejoice, For their Liberator is born. Let All Christians rejoice, For Jesus Christ is born. St. Augustine of Hippo
Additional Reading: Read the Christmas Story from Luke chapters 1-2:1-40
As On A Day of Festival Call it the waters of salvation
or the garlands of gladness.
Call it the grave-clothes falling away or call it the loosing of the chains. Call it what binds us together:
fierce but fragile but fierce. Call it he will rejoice over you
with gladness; call it he will renew you in his love; call it he will exult over you
with loud singing as on a day of festival. Call it the thin, thin place
where the veil gives way. Or call it this: the path we make
when we go deep and deeper still into the dark and look behind to see
the way has been lit by our rejoicing.
"Blessing the Way" appears in Jan's new book Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons. Jan Richardson; used with permission.
Advent invites active Kingdom participation
that offers hope to a weary world.
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The artwork "On the Way" by Cody Wood can be viewed digitally or printed for non-commercial use only. We recommend printing on heavy card stock for best viewing.
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