The Week of Peace
As your peace rules in our hearts, we give thanks to you, Lord, and rejoice in the birth of the Prince of Peace. Amen
Weekly Advent Prayers by Betty Claire Jackson
By Linda Mason
I have always loved bicycles. When I was about five, we moved to a three-room farmhouse a long way from town. There was a small fenced area for a garden where my mother grew the most delicious vegetables. We thought she grew them because she knew we loved them; little did we know it was part of the basic survival package. Upon our arrival, I discovered an old rusty bicycle, sans tires and other working parts, leaning against the garden fence. I sat on that bicycle for countless hours over the next few years, pretending to ride wherever I desired. I never asked my parents for a bicycle; I think I just knew it wouldn’t be possible. Then, when I was 11, right before Christmas, there was a fire at the Western Auto Store in town. My mother went to the store and got one of the charred bicycles, cleaned it up and purchased new tires and handlebar grips. On Christmas Day, it would have been near impossible to distinguish who was more overjoyed, the giver or the receiver of that phenomenal gift.
When I read the passage today from Isaiah 9: 6-7, I thought about gifts. The prophet is telling the people that there is hope. Their darkness is about to be vanquished by something so surprising, so miraculous, so humble, so supreme, so everlasting, the world will never be the same. God knew we would never think to ask for this gift, that we couldn’t earn it and didn’t deserve it. Our God who creates us, knows us, gives us this indescribable gift because He loves us.
As we reflect this season on reverence and celebration, I pray we will be in awe of all the things that are outside our control and celebrate that God, as usual, gives us the perfect gift.