Advent Candle Liturgy 2: Peace
The second of the advent candle liturgies that we are using in Dundonald Methodist this year... and as we do so tomorrow we do it against the background of serious civil disturbance, where peace, real peace is shown to be in serious short supply:
Last Sunday we lit the first candle of our Advent wreath - the candle of hope. Today we light the second candle, the candle of peace.
When we speak of peace we speak of the Biblical concept of Shalom, not simply of the absence of conflict but the presence of justice, peace and wellbeing: all good things and all things good…
The prophet Isaiah wrote:
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,and the government will be on his shoulders.And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9: 2 & 6 (ANIV)
(The first and second candles are lit as the congregation sings the following verse and chorus of "O Come, O come Emmanuel")
O come O King of Kings, come to embrace,
and unify the human race;
command our sad divisions cease
and be for us the Prince of Peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
Latin 13th century translated by John M Neale (1818-1866) Jubilate Hymns version adapted
Loving God, in this time of preparation and planning,
We thank you for the hope and peace you offer us that this world never can.
We pray that you may reveal to us the healing power of hope,
And embed within us that peace that is much more than the absence of conflict.
Where there is division and discord, injustice and inequality
whether between countries, within families, or within our own hearts,
pour in your peace.
May we be channels of your peace, agents of reconciliation
Forgiving as we have been forgiven.
We desire to walk in your ways
To seek peace and pursue it.
Benediction (for the end of the service)
We began this service reflecting on the peace that Christ promises:
Go from this place in peace with the hope of Christ in your hearts,
Not just as peace-lovers but as peace-makers.
The good news of Advent is this:
The Prince of Peace is coming.
AMEN. Come Lord Jesus