Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ, Are you experiencing peace today? Jesus said, "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." (John 14:27) Of course, the peace He was referring to is His peace that transcends all human understanding that keeps (guards like a sentry guarding a fortress) our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. On this coming Lord's Day, we will light the Peace Candle on our Advent wreath in remembrance of the angelic proclamation on the night of Christ's birth, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests" (Luke 2:1). We remember this announcement when we sing the Gloria in Excelsis Deo (Latin for Glory to God in the Highest) during the Sunday liturgy: Glory to God in the highest,and peace to his people on earth.Lord God, heavenly King,Almighty God and Father,we worship you, we give you thanks,we praise you for your glory.Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,Lord God, Lamb of God,you take away the sin of the world:have mercy on us;you are seated at the right hand of the Father:receive our prayer.For you alone are the Holy One,you alone are the Lord,you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,with the Holy Spirit,in the glory of God the Father.Amen.
This peace that only the Prince of Peace can give continues to be celebrated throughout the liturgy with expressions like the "peace of the Lord be with you" before The Collect for the day. We also exchange "the peace" before receiving the Holy Eucharist to make sure that we are at peace with our neighbor. These and other places in the liturgy where the word peace is mentioned are divine reminders of how our Good Shepherd wants us to experience His peace as a way of life. May the peace of Christ be with you as we journey through these final days of Advent, celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas, and move forward into this new church year! Your servant in Christ, The Rev. Dean F. Schultz - Christ the Redeemer Church in Springfield, VA