Advent Devotional: A Season of Peace

Peace Has A Name

Peace. When you hear this word many ideas, concepts, and visuals probably flood your mind. You might think of the peace meaning a lack of conflict or fighting. Or peace could stir up the concept of inner tranquility and a sense of calm. But what is peace? More importantly, what does Scripture say peace is?

What the Bible says about Peace

The Bible has two words for peace. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for peace is shalom and the Greek word for peace in the New Testament is eiréné (i-ray’-nay). Shalom means completeness. Its root word, shalam, means to make amends, make whole or complete. Shalom refers to something that is complex with many pieces, but that is in a state of completeness. Eiréné means one-ness, quietness, or rest. It is derived from the Greek word, eirō, “carrying the concept of wholeness, unity, or to tie together.”

If we look at Exodus 22:4 we see that if someone steals livestock from a neighbor, they must restore, or shalam, what they took under the law. There’s a requirement to make complete that which is lacking. Therefore, having shalom means being in a state of wholeness. Jumping to the New Testament, Jesus’ birth was announced as the arrival of eiréné, or peace. Jesus came to offer his Peace to others, which is exactly what He said in John 14:27, “my peace I give to you all….” And Paul declares that Jesus is our peace in Ephesians 2:14-15.

True peace is not just the lack of conflict. True peace takes that which is broken and restores it to wholeness. Whether that be in our lives, the relationships we have, or in the world we live in. When Jesus came to earth in human form, lived a sinless life, died on the cross for our sins, rose from the grave to defeat death, and then ascended to heaven, He established a wholeness that cannot be overcome. If acquiring true peace sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is – but the good news is that Jesus did all that work for us, and for you!

Finding Peace in the Advent Season

As we look at the big picture in this season of Advent, we can have peace because of who Jesus is. His followers declared that He created peace between mankind and God when Jesus gave His life on the cross for our sins (Romans 5:1). Jesus restored to wholeness our broken relationship with God because He was the complete and whole person that we were made to be but have failed to be.

As Christians, we are to help make peace in a world that often finds itself in conflict. This is only accomplished when we live lives of humility, patience, and bear with one another in love. No matter where you are in life, what trials you might be facing in this season, you can find peace in the one who will take a broken world and one day restore it into complete wholeness.

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Where have you been sensing a lack of peace in your own life recently?
  2. How much of your own sense of peace is related to circumstances, relationships, or an “inner calm” instead of on Jesus and your relationship with him?
  3. How can thinking about what the Bible says about God, His kingdom, the gospel, etc. bring peace into our hearts?
  4. How could walking in the peace of God reflect His kingdom to the world around us?

Advent at Home Activity: Peace

What Makes You Feel Peace

To help your family understand what “peace” is, try this easy little tactile learning activity.

  1. First, ask your kids what makes them feel peaceful (hugs, a warm blanket, sitting by the fire, hot chocolate, etc.)
  2. And then… do those things with them! Whatever they suggest. In the hustle and bustle, we may find it difficult to sit still;  but isn’t THAT just what we need a reminder of?!
  3. Next, ask them to image an even greater peace than that – something that makes them feel even better!

Hopefully this activity will help them understand that the peace Jesus offers is for their own hearts specifically!

Written by: Jimmy Simpson