Preparing for Worship: Walking in the Light of the Lord

Preparing for Worship: Walking in the Light of the Lord

John Haralson   •   November 25, 2016

Because of the tender mercy of our God,       
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high      
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,      
to guide our feet into the way of peace. 

Luke 1:78-79 

Dear Friends,

Peace is an often misunderstood word. 

By peace, we can sometimes mean the absence of conflict. When a war ends, nations sign a peace treaty. Similarly, when we are stressed out, we long for some “peace and quiet”, an absence of turmoil or tension.

By peace, we can also mean something (or someone) that brings us happiness. “At peace” can describe how we feel after we have eaten a really great meal or finished an excellent novel. 

But, in the Bible, peace is much deeper, richer and far more complex. 

Peace describes a rich and fertile situation where all relationships are flourishing in the way God intended them to be. When the Bible uses the concept “peace”, it means many things happening at once:       
People in right relationship with God, their Creator and Savior,        
People in right relationship with themselves,        
People in right relationship with one another, and        
People in right relationship with creation. 

Finding the path to peace is so often hard to do. Our culture is constantly offering to us lifestyles and choices that promise peace, but in reality can never deliver on those promises. And, because of our own uncertainty, pride, and shame, we can often be easily led astray in our search for peace. 

This year during Advent (see the PS) and Christmas, we are going to be looking at texts from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah. God spoke through Isaiah giving Israel, the ancient people of God, and ultimately us his promises of peace.  

God desires for us to walk in his ways of peace, and shows us the way to peace requires us to draw near to him. So, don’t give into the temptation towards self-protective cynicism or mindless holiday distraction. This Advent season, let us come to the Lord and ask him to show us the way. 

This Sunday: Walking in the Light of the Lord, Isaiah 2:1-5Matthew 24:36-44Romans 13:11-14

I hope to worship with you.

Liturgy is here

John

PS For those of you wondering what “Advent” means, here are two very helpful resources to orient you to the church calendar:
1) A 4-minute video on the church calendar
2) A short article on the church calendar