It’s hard to believe that it’s already the fourth and final Sunday of the season of advent. For me, this has been a wonderful experience and a much needed break from the normalcy that I’ve grown accustomed to during this time of year. Choosing to focus on the hope I have in the second coming of Jesus as he ushers in the age to come has had many rewards, for which I’m extremely grateful.
As you recall, during the first three weeks we looked at the themes of hope, love and joy. This week we’ll consider how God’s offer of peace to us through His Messiah, the Prince of Peace, encourages us to not only be peacemakers ourselves, but also to look forward with great anticipation when Jesus will return to rule and reign with an everlasting peace that the world is so desperately longing for.
To help us become acquainted with this theme of peace, I’d like to recommend that we consider a daily examen where we focus on the parts of our days where peace was offered to us or when we had opportunities to offer peace ourselves.
Remember, the practice of an examen is to give you an opportunity to slow down, pause, and prayerfully reflect on your day. Here’s a simple outline for you to follow as you close out each day.
- Make yourself comfortable. Light a candle and/or play some soft instrumental music if you like to help with the atmosphere.
- Rest into silence for a few minutes.
- Ask God to lead you through your day or week.
- Review and reflect.
- When did I offer or receive peace to/from someone today?
- When did I refuse to offer/receive peace to/from someone today?
- When was I aware of living out of the fruit of the Spirit today? (Galatians 5:22-23)
- When was I aware of the absence of the fruit of the Spirit today?