Advent 3.3: Peace of a Shepherd

Light all three purple candles.
Read: Isaiah 40:9, 11

You who bring good tidings to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!”

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

—–

The motif of Jesus as shepherd will be explored later, but one aspect of His first coming was to be a shepherd of peace. The most famous shepherding passage, Psalm 23, begins, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” A shepherd played many roles in the ancient world. Among these roles was that of peacemaker. When a storm or predator caused the sheep to tremble and panic, the shepherd had to be the one to calm the sheep. He was the peacemaker. He led his sheep in peace and sought peaceful settings in which to place his sheep. Psalm 23 says the Lord leads His sheep by peaceful waters and is by their side through the darkest valleys. His rod and staff comfort them.

In John 10, Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know Me.” Jesus came as the shepherd of peace, just as the Old Testament writers predicted. He came to bring peace between God and man and, as a result, between man and man. As we will study later this week, the angels first appeared not to kings or the village leaders of Bethlehem, but to humble shepherds. They announced that peace had come, in the form of a little infant, to those on whom God’s favor rested. How ironic.

— Be God’s

Sample Prayer

“Our Father in heaven, we light this candle to thank You for your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, who is the Prince of Peace. We who were once alienated from You by our sin have now been reconciled to You through the blood of Your Son. And now He is our peace both pertaining to salvation and to life. We thank you for this peace in His holy name. Amen.“

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