• faith

    [Advent Week 3] The Bethlehem Candle

    One of my favorite lessons about peace is something we teach our students in the Institute during our Peacemaking courses: peace is not the absence of conflict, but recognizing the presence of God in it. The second candle on the Advent wreath is often called the “Bethlehem Candle,” and it represents how Jesus’ arrival on Earth signaled the arrival of true peace. Emmanuel – God with us – the very presence of God in human form, made peace possible. We can now access “peace that surpasses human understanding.” I can think of so many people who need to hear about this peace. And I want to be able to share…

  • faith,  leadership

    Advent: The Presence of Peace

    “How am I supposed to have peace when my life is such a mess?” “….when my child won’t talk to me?” “…when my loved one is gone forever?” “…when the world is so filled with darkness?”  These are fair questions. I’ve asked them. You may have too. Or someone close to you has – or is asking them right now.   In his Messianic prophecy, Isaiah foretold Jesus would be called the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). In their majestic announcement of Jesus’s arrival, the angels proclaimed there would now be “peace on earth” (Luke 2:14). When Jesus was departing this earth, he left his disciples with this encouraging message: “I…

  • Woman Sipping Hot Drink by Window with Snow Outside

    Waiting: An Advent Devotional

    I don’t like to wait. For anything. And since I rarely practice it, I’m not very good at it. You won’t find me waiting in long lines to get into a popular restaurant or camped out for the release of a new tech device or a movie premiere. Simply put, I’m impatient, and waiting feels like a waste of time. And I’m not alone. It’s hard for people in contemporary culture to wait for things. Like me, people are busy checking off to-do lists, cramming in meetings and appointments, rushing through experiences to get to the next thing. We are bombarded with messages telling us to hurry so we don’t…

  • faith

    Choosing Calm in a Season of Sheltering
    [A Guest Post by Nancy Reece]

    I went for a walk yesterday and was singing Raise A Hallelujah at the top of my lungs.  The words of the song – I raise a hallelujah, with everything inside of me; I raise a hallelujah, I will watch the darkness flee, I raise a hallelujah, fear you lost your hold on me – brought peace and calm in the middle of this season of fear and panic in our world.   CHOOSING PRAISE OVER FEAR About two weeks ago, I wasn’t exactly experiencing calm.  On Thursday March 12th, when we were aware of the virus and a couple of days before things went crazy at the grocery stores, I came home and told my husband…