Today on Firmly Rooted Friday, Morgan Farr reminds us how we find peace all year round not just during the Advent season.
Peace on the Earth
by Morgan Farr
What is it that makes Advent a special time in the Christian faith?
Advent is the season leading up to Christmas. The actual word Advent is Latin for “coming”, so it makes sense that during the Advent season we celebrate Christ’s arrival on earth as a baby. We see signs everywhere that read “peace on Earth”, and we sing songs to the same effect hallowing that silent night.
We celebrate Christ’s birth as the beginnings of peace on Earth. While admittedly, Christ’s birth was the fulfillment of prophecy (check out Isaiah 7:14, Hosea 11:1, and Micah 5:2), Christ’s birth is not the act that saved us. Instead, it was Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection that redeemed us, allowing us to be cleansed of our sins.
This is where many will say, “This is an Advent article, why are you talking about this?”
Peace is a Fruit of the Spirit
We are talking about this because many people search for peace during the holiday season. But peace is a Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Do you know how to get fruit? It has to be planted and cultivated. My father-in-law is a gentleman farmer, and over the years I have watched him remove weeds and rocks, nourish the ground, and lovingly plant seeds that may take years to produce fruit.
You will notice I didn’t write that my father-in-law went outside and threw an apple in the yard to get more apples. You do not get fruit that way. Growing fruit takes intentionality and dedication. If you want fruit you must plant the seed, help it to become deeply rooted, allow the plant to flourish and only then watch for signs of the fruit.
Peace is no different.
You can’t just run to the store and get peace. It can’t be bought with a certain retirement fund or a particular zip code. If we want true peace in this Advent season, we have to know Jesus personally and then live like it. Once you are a follower of Christ, our instructions are clear. In Matthew 22: 37-40 Jesus says,
“…‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
This starts with recognizing our own brokenness and the need for Christ’s incredible gift on the cross, and sharing that with other people. This means being in the word of God everyday. Read, meditate, and pray. Be present with the heavenly father that loves us so perfectly. Then go love others in the way that you love yourself. In military life this could be bringing a meal to the new girl in the barracks, offering to babysit for the family with a deployed service member, or gathering in prayer for our leadership.
Peace comes through growing in the Holy Spirit.
We no longer have to wait in anticipation of Christ’s advent. He came, he paid our debt in full (John 19:30). He then returned to the Father and left with the Holy Spirit who helps us to grow in love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
The manger was a stop on the way to the cross. So this holiday season, remember to look past the manger and on to the cross because that is where true and lasting peace is found. While the manger scene is emotionally moving, the scene on the cross is eternally redeeming.
Finally, let us tell you about the greatest gift ever given. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world,[ that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” If you don’t know Jesus personally, please reach out to us here at Planting Roots. We would love to tell you more about Christ’s incredible gift.
Did you miss the first weeks Firmly Rooted Friday Advent post, “When God Steps into Hope”? Find it here.