"For the sake of my relatives and friends I will say, 'Peace be within you.'" -Psalm 122:8
Peace be within you. As the Psalmist was penning those words, he was talking very specifically about peace within the city of Jerusalem. So what does that have to do with you, with me? Well the peace, the shalom, that the Psalmist was praying for was a peace that starts with all people turning to God and God in turn granting to all people those who have turned to God. Psalm 122 is a prayer for all people to look to Jerusalem, look to God who loves us and then receiving God's peace as a gift to share with our relatives, friends, and neighbors.
That's a pretty powerful Advent message, isn't it? What if in these weeks leading to the Nativity we were to pray for the peace of God to be not only in our own hearts, but within the hearts of all we encounter? What kind of peace would then spread throughout the community where we find ourselves? What kind of security would we achieve if we all turned to God for an everlasting peace meant as a gift for all?
O Lord, as we begin another workaday week, a week full of interactions with long-trusted friends, and passing acquaintances help us find the time and space to turn to you. And as we turn to you for grace, love and peace give us the courage and strength to share your peace, love and grace with all whom we encounter. May your peace flow through us at home, at work, at school, on the phone, in the car, in both our words and deeds this day and throughout all the days you give to us. Amen.
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