Let there be peace on earth

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
                                                                        Isaiah 9:6

This is a wonderful passage from Isaiah. And as we enter this Advent/Christmas season it's a great reminder of God coming into our world in human form. We sing this verse during this season to   proclaim the wonderful gift we've been given in Jesus Christ. His name – Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.
Take a moment and just reflect on these amazing names of our Lord Jesus. We love them all, but this last one - Prince of Peace - really stands out as something different than what so many of us experience in life. Peace is elusive. It's difficult to get a hold of because there can be so much conflict
in our relationships. Yet Jesus is called the Prince of Peace for a reason.
If you read through the gospels and check out Jesus' ministry He often talked about peace. In the  Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:9, Jesus said, Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. In John 14:27 Jesus said to his disciples - Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. And in Colossians 3:15 the Apostle Paul tells the church - Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
We are to represent Christ as His followers. Since He is the Prince of Peace we're called to be ambassadors of His peace in this world. How are we doing with this calling? Are our lives
reflecting the peace of God?
Jesus says in John 14:27 that He’s given us His peace; it’s a gift that is ours. And no matter what  happens we can experience the peace of God by letting it reign in our lives. When we hear this we can’t help but think we have a choice. We can allow our hearts to be troubled and afraid or we can take the advice Jesus offers and live in peace. But how does this work? How can we let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts? It begins with knowing Jesus and the gift He is. When we realize this gift of peace – His peace given freely to us – it changes our spirit. When our spirit gets up close and personal with God’s Spirit we begin to reflect the character of God Himself. During this holy season take time to reflect on our great Prince of Peace. Take time to just spend time with God - get in His word and talk and listen to Him; and give thanks for the peace we have with God because of Jesus Christ and all that He’s done for us by His life, death and resurrection. Take time to understand that the promise of God’s peace every moment of every day is possible when we remember our calling in Christ as members together of one body of believers, the Church of Jesus Christ.
It is our prayer that this Advent Devotional – written by members of St. John’s church family – will be a blessing to you and will help you to connect with the peace that passes all understanding.
Sunday, November 29, 2020

Christmas is coming! Loved ones to see, gifts to give, baking to share. We prepare our homes for the celebration. But, even more important than this outward preparation is the preparation of our heart. The Advent season is a beautiful reminder to prepare our hearts, as we prepare our homes, to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus!
Advent is all about hope! Is your heart filled with hope? Do you have a confident       expectation of your tomorrow? What happens when the road ahead is filled with loss and stress weighs your shoulders down? When confidence in tomorrow dwindles, what can you do? How can you walk in hope when you feel hopeless inside?
The one word answer to this question is JESUS...the Jesus of Christmas.
Hope in Jesus comes from more than just a belief that He was once a baby in a manger. This hope in Jesus has been called “an anchor for the soul”. It is something deep within that secures you through the storms of life. Putting your hope in Jesus will give you:
Hope for Help. We are invited to come to Him and confidently ask for help. Hebrews 4:16 tells us to: come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in our time of need.
Hope to overcome. With Christ’s strength we can overcome great obstacles. I John 5:40 tells us: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.
Hope for power. Sometimes we find ourselves with a task that simply looks too big for us. We need strength to do what we need to do. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says: My grace is
sufficient for you; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
Hope for eternity. When we put our faith and hope in Jesus, it not only gives us help, strength and power where we walk today, but it also gives us hope for life after death. It is the confident expectation of the ultimate tomorrow.
PRAYER: Dear God, Thank you that you sent Jesus on that first Christmas long ago to be my Savior. Forgive me and show me how to live in the confident expectation that You can impact my life, my character and my circumstances. Amen.
St. John's Ivyland
820 Almshouse Road
Ivyland, PA 18974
Rev. Brad Leight, Pastor