Advent Devotion Series: Prepare Him Room - PEACE


Advent Devotion Series: Prepare Him Room - PEACE

By Debbie Briggs

Think about the statement: “Prepare Him Room.” It is used in the imperative mood, forming a command or request. Stating it another way: “Prepare Him room. Do it!” It is an action. December has arrived and so … in this advent study and imperatively speaking, you are asked to take hope, peace, joy and love to an action level. Do it!

Let’s be real: we all know this is not an easy task. This week, as we look at the advent topic of Peace, taking it to a different level is actually rather gutsy in the world in which we reside. Macro to micro in our world exist natural disasters like hurricanes, global pandemics, drought and flooding. This has led to hunger crises where hundreds of thousands yearn for sustenance and are dying. Throw politics in there and mass shootings. How about social media back-biting? Under our own roofs there are financial strains in the current economy, relational struggles, health issues and more. STOP! Prepare Him room. Take peace to a different level. Do it!

Transparency teaches, so here it is. I do not do relational conflict well. In fact, it is rare that it comes my way. It happened last year. It tested my husband and me to seek and pursue peace like never before. What in the world were we to do with this surprise lack of peace in our extended family? In the midst of it, I clung to 1 Peter 3:8-22. There were two statements that jumped out of the pages (and from my Bible app): 1 Peter 3:10-11 reads: “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.” Whoa!!! I had to seek peace and pursue it if this was going to end well. Imperatively speaking:

Seek peace.

Pursue peace.

Do it!

Peace is not the absence of trauma and conflict; it is experiencing it in the midst of that trauma and conflict.

From an unknown author comes this story: The Real Meaning of Peace

“There once was a king who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. The contest stirred the imagination of artists everywhere. Many artists wanted a chance at winning the prize. Paintings from far and wide began to arrive. The king looked at all the pictures, uncovering one peaceful scene after another as the on-lookers clapped and cheered. The tensions grew as only two pictures remained veiled. As the king pulled the cover from one, a hush fell over the crowd.

It was a picture of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for peaceful towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a beautiful blue sky with fluffy white clouds. Along the grassy shore, a flock of sheep grazed undisturbed. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace. Surely this was the winner.

The king uncovered the last painting, and the crowd gasped in surprise. Could this be peace? This picture had mountains like the previous painting but these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky, from which rain fell and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall; the crowd could almost feel its cold, penetrating spray. This did not look peaceful at all.

But when the king looked closely, he saw a little bird had built a nest on a branch of a tree. A tree that reached out in the direction of the tumultuous waterfall. Yet there, in the midst of the rush of angry water, undisturbed in her stormy surroundings, sat the other bird on her nest – in perfect peace.

The king chose the last picture.”

Unless we seek and pursue, peace can be so close, yet so far, without us even knowing. That happened with Jesus’ own disciples:

Mathew 8:23-27

“Then Jesus got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’ He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, ‘What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!’”

Again: peace is not the absence of trauma and conflict; it is experiencing it in the midst of that trauma and conflict.

We read throughout the Old Testament the foretelling of the coming of the Prince of Peace. For centuries the trusted prophets were telling the world that the Prince of Peace was coming. There was this urgency of seeking and pursuing. Seek and pursue. Do it!

Isaiah 9:6

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Flesh and blood … our Prince of Peace.

Sometimes we miss the grit of The Christmas Story. Preceding the news of the angels to the shepherds, it was a time of unrest where there was little peace, with much Roman oppression to the Jews. The reality of not finding a room in the inn and using what was perhaps a cave to birth the King of Humanity is at times something we miss. Sorry to burst your bubble, but the smells of the urine and dung were real, as was the dirtiness of traveling on donkeys. There was a bit of angst in the heart of Joseph that it was not the perfect scenario for the birth of Jesus.

But came the news of the angel that the gift of peace, magnified to the fullest, had arrived … Baby Jesus in the form of humanity. Our very Prince of Peace. And guess what the wisest of the wise did? They sought Him out. They pursued Him. The Christmas Story tells us the shepherds and the wisest of men did the seeking and the pursuing of peace. We can be the wisest of the wise centuries later.

Philippians 4:7: “And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Incredible words!

What are your angry skies, your cold waters, and your stormy seas? What will you do with them? Jesus came into this world to give us inner peace. Praying and accepting Him into our lives is the first step. Yet seeking and pursuing peace mandates our continual actions. Jesus offers more than outer peace; He offers inner peace. Perhaps it is right there in front of our eyes in the macro, in the micro … on a branch, in the boat with us, right there in the midst of our struggles. He is the Prince of Peace who came … and in anticipation, we wait for Him to come again.

Prepare Him Room.

Seek peace.

Pursue peace.

Watch the corresponding video devotion on here