2021 Advent Devotions

Luke 1:68-79 | December 12, 2021

What Does Peace Look Like?
by Beth Rooney

What does peace look like for you? Is it when your to-do list is finished? Is it when you are free from obligations? Or perhaps is it when you feel comforted after a difficult situation? Peace certainly feels that way in my own life sometimes. But peace is more than just our personal, daily comfort.

These verses are called the Benedictus, which is Zechariah’s praise to God for God’s salvation in the birth of the Messiah and in the birth of his own son, John the Baptist. His praise is more than thankfulness for the birth of John the Baptist. He sings of God’s salvation moving through the community, transforming its very being in the world into an expansive safety net of freedom and comfort.

In Zechariah’s song, salvation is a personal call to individuals as they are involved in the transformation of God’s community. The call is to follow as God “guides our feet into the way of peace,” making us vessels of “light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death” (v. 79). This may challenge our understanding of God’s salvation for our own lives. God calls us to salvation as we physically, politically, and economically show forth God’s justice and love in our relationships with not only friends and family, but also with strangers, society, and the world. God grants us mercy and brings us glimpses of salvation as we pursue the justice that our world requires of us.

Could we all be called to sing songs of praise like Zechariah, once we follow the surprising signs of God’s movement in our midst? The miracle here is that God never gives up sending salvation’s signs because God never gives up on us. As we live in an ordinary flow of time and events, let us still be called to  hear surprising songs of God’s transforming work in our lives and in the world.

Prayer: God, help us to sing, shout, and whisper prophetically the ways of peace, justice, and love in our world. Grant us the courage to ask ourselves, “Are we still listening?” amidst the veil of personal comforts and convenience. Help us bring light to the darkness in a world that desperately needs it.  Let us make way for the Prince of Peace to guide us in our own lives and in bringing love, justice, and peace in the world. Amen.