Advent Week II: Bethlehem and Peace
According to present usage, Advent is a period beginning with the Sunday nearest to the feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle (November 30) and embracing four Sundays. In our worship services many Christians have the tradition of the Advent Wreath. The wreath holds five candles signifying the four Sundays of Advent and Christmas. The weeks represent major concepts of the live and promise of Christ Jesus: Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.
Week II: Bethlehem and Peace
The second candle, lit on the second Sunday of advent (December 5 in 2010) along with the first candle, is the Bethlehem candle, reminding us that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. It too is purple, reminding us that it was a King Who was born in the manger.
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.” (Micah 5:2)
The Birth of Jesus
1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. (Luke 2:1-7)
In a world filled with strife and war, we pray for peace. Jesus Christ is the source of Peace for those who believe in Him.
Jesus used the Hebrew word “shalom” which has been interpreted as “peace.” It means an inner peace, a peace of the heart, that is available to all Christians. To have “shalom” is to be at one with God.
Jesus gave “shalom” to His disciples just before He was taken captive. He empowered them to carry this “shalom” to others in His name.
May we, His modern-day disciples, continue to spread the peace available by taking the Good News to all the nations.
Alive in The Word