Honestly, you tell me: there may be only 23 of 195 countries in the whole wide world that had no reported battles, or riots of violence this year, but how many of our families, or friendships, or faith communities, had no hidden battles or a busted and broken peace?

Peace can only be made by the very Prince of Peace. There is no other way, but through the One who is The Way.

How many of us honestly don’t have real peace with that someone down the pew, down the street, or right there in our family tree? I look in the mirror and weep.

And yet — how many of us will sing “Peace on Earth, goodwill to men” and feel no deep peace toward more than a few difficult men?

You can feel it right there, in your tender-raw heart: Peace can’t be accomplished by people. It never has been, and never will be.

You can only concede:

Peace can only be made by the very Prince of Peace. There is no other way, but through the One who is The Way.

So our Christmases and our crisis and our conflicts all ache with the longing cry: “Come Lord Jesus, Come.”

This is no melodramatic ploy, but our only honest plea.

How can we wage peace, if only the Prince of Peace can bring peace?

How do we still wage peace, while we wait still for the Prince of Peace?

Advent is about waiting, so advent is simply about doing what the waiters always do — the waiters always serve.

There is no other way to wait through Advent than to be a waiter — and serve.

The Advent waiters serve the oppressed their open hands, so we all get to become prisoners of hope.

The Advent waiters serve the hurting with extra helpings of real help, so we all fill with actual hope.

The Advent waiters serve soup to the love-starved, and invite the relationship-hungry to their hearths, and the Advent waiters serve the world food and warmth and shelter and welcome and cruciform love so we all feel the touch of the hands and heart of Christ.

There is no other way to wait through Advent than to be a waiter — and serve. Serve the single mom next door with a night out and the widow down the street with a dinner in, and make it a point to serve all the singles a seat at your table because they deserve to be seen and served and sincerely celebrated as whole reflections of Christ!

Blessed are the peacemakers who serve peace to their enemies with just one brave card in the mail, just one brave call in a silent Cold War, which lights a flame in the dark, and is a sign that the real kingdom and the Prince of Peace is breaking in right now.

Blessed are the peacemakers who feel along for fractures in families, and faith communities, and cultural frontlines, and proactively forge peace with their Christ-burning hearts, because nothing dishonours God more than our disharmony.

Our disharmony brings a kind of hell on earth instead of real peace on earth, and who will be the first to wave a white flag, and surrender to the mending ways of the Prince of Peace?

Blessed are the peacemakers who serve peace exactly to those who don’t deserve it, because this is exactly what Christmas is about: Christ coming to make peace with us who didn’t deserve it, so how can we not pass the peace on He’s served each of us?

There are wars and there are wounded and this is always the work of the people of God:

The only way to wait for God to work — is to do the work of waiters -— serve.

We wage peace exactly by waiting on the Prince of Prince, by doing what the waiters always do — serve light, serve hope, serve love.

We wage peace when we are real ministers of reconciliation, “for He himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility” to let more of the light of the kingdom break in through our broken and wounded hearts.

The Advent waiters let nothing stop them, not rejection, not accusation, not condemnation, not estrangement, not isolation, not trepidation, not anything ever can ever stop the true waiters on God from serving light and hope and love in the dark.

We light more than peace candles this Advent — we ourselves ignite to become very torches of Peace, serving the dark with the reconciling light of Christ.

The very smallest of steps toward someone sets fire to the the dark, and tiny reaches toward reconciliation spark and lights hearts to signs that the Prince of Peace is coming.

What if a world of conflict made lists at Christmas, not just of people to buy for, but of just one person to serve real peace to?

The Advent waiters
who truly serve
are the true hasteners
of the kingdom and
peace of God.

And the whole wide world and our small worlds sing it, us being brave enough to go first and serve:

Peace on earth!”

******


Jesus came down — and a bit of heaven can begin now, even here. With every step, we are walking into our forever now.

Come let Jesus touch our broken relationships & heal us & reconcile us with His PEACE.

This Advent, Stay in the Story that the rest of your year, your family, will need.

3 Award-Winning books for the Whole Family

The Greatest Gift (adult edition): Best Devotional of the Year, ECPA, 2014

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift (Family Edition): Best Inspirational Book of the Year, CBA, 2016

 The Wonder of the Greatest Gift: Best Devotional & Gift Book of the Year, CBA, 2019

(pop-up edition with your own 14 inch tree, 25 days of readings, 25 day advent flap calendar, hiding all 25 Biblically inspired ornaments! For any age) 

When our holidays are about Staying in the Story, being with Him —

Peace leads us — and we have ourselves The Greatest little Christmas yet!