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Dec 4 / Chuck Smith, Jr.

Advent Sunday 12/04/2022–Peace



Welcome and Prayer: Rich Milstead

When I was in college, my roommate and I joined a march to protest the building of a nuclear power plant in Diablo Canyon, because we thought it would be a terrible thing. In fact, Aaron was very upset about it, and was saying, “What happens if this thing is built?” For me, the thought of it was not as terrifying, and I told him, “I’m okay, because I’ve read the the final chapter”–referring to the Scriptures, where God wins.

I had grown up in a mainline denomination where our version of faith in God was the equivalent of having fire insurance. We did not hear a whole lot about a personal relationship with Jesus. Later on, I met Chuck, read books, and discovered the idea that faith could be knowing Jesus, which was much nicer than fire insurance.

Nerd that I am, I looked up peace in the dictionary and read that it is “a lack of conflict or war.” That’s easy, because I’m not fighting anyone or at war with anyone. But if we look at peace in the Scriptures, the Hebrew word is Shalom. In English, a common greeting is, “How are you?” In Israel, people greet each other with, “How is your shalom?”

I looked up Shalom too and it is peace, but of a much richer sort than our English word indicates. Shalom is a general state of well-being, a wholeness or completeness within oneself, a harmony with God and others, it is the soul’s prosperity, welfare and tranquility. This is much more than just a lack of conflict or war.

This is the time of year when we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace. However, if you’ve been out in the malls or holiday traffic, you realize the birth of the Prince of peace brings out less than peaceful reactions from a lot of people. I was talking to a guy at the job site, who is responsible for holding up the stop sign to stop cars to protect both workers and drivers. He told me, “This time of year, when I hold up the sign I get a lot of angry reactions.” There’s not a lot of shalom out there.

So, “How is your shalom?”

Our prayer this morning is from 2 Thessalonians 3: 16, and I am reading The Message version:

May the Master of Peace himself give you the gift of getting along with each other at all times, in all ways. May the Master be truly among you.

Morning Talk: Phil Aguilar

We do not have notes for Phil’s talk, but you can watch it by clicking on the Watch Live button in the sidebar and scrolling to it.

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