Second Sunday of Advent: Peace

Second Sunday of Advent: Peace
Art by Srey Neath, age 15, New Phnom Penh Project. From the 2021 Prayer Calendar.

Malachi 3:1-4, Luke 3:1-6

"Prepare Ye the way of the Lord"

I still remember when we were appointed at Church of the Savior UMC in Sucat Paranaque, Philippines. This was the title of the song that Rolland, our soloist, used to sing: “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the dessert, make straight a highway for our God.”

Luke 3:1-6 tells us:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.
Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.
And all people will see God’s salvation.’”

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness.”

This is already our second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. I still remember when it started, with all the uncertainties and unknowns leaving us lost and fearful. Those times were challenging in our faith with some of the churches closing, schools cancelling and all the stay-at-home protocols. Leaders were trying to cope with the financial needs of the church. People around the world were suffering and going through many hardships. We were left in the wilderness, searching for that "voice" that will lead us to the truth and give us the courage to continue and fight for life. We kept looking for a cure for the safety of our families, our children, our friends and the whole world. There was one answer that kept us all together. It was the voice of God, guiding us and leading us to the clear path.

“Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low.”

God will fill the emptiness in our lives, and for even the most impossible things, God will show us the way. During the first wave of the pandemic, my mom "Ima" had to stay with us in the U.S. There was no way to bring her back to the Philippines, and with her age, it would have been hard for her to travel alone with all the protocols and safety measures. We also needed to determine if her immigration papers were due. We were caught off-guard. It was a waiting game, but God works in mysterious ways. God provides, filling the emptiness and hopelessness. Nothing is impossible with God!

My mother has stayed with us for almost two years now. God's peace and comfort led us through this time of waiting for our paperwork. We trust and obey in peace with God's promises and comforting words.

“The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.”

In this Advent season, may we continue to have the peace that comes from God, as we continue to face this challenging pandemic. God said, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) – it is a promise that helps us get through this. Let the peace of God reign in our family and in us all, as we walk the path laid out for us, singing with peace and happiness. “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert and the highway for our God.” Let God reign in our lives that no matter the circumstances we will be safe in God’s hand. Let us walk in peace with God in this Advent season. Amen.

Deaconess Joy Lucas De Leon-Hayag serves at Christ UMC in Rockford, IL as the Children’s and Family Ministries director in the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Posted or updated: 12/2/2021 12:00:00 AM

Give Thanks. Give Now.

Advent 2021

November 28: First Sunday of Advent
December 5: Second Sunday of Advent
December 12: Third Sunday of Advent
December 19: Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 24: Christmas Eve
December 31: New Year's Eve