Advent Daily Devotional: WEEK of PEACE: DAY 14 – Sat, Dec 11

Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord; and I will heal them. — Isaiah 57:19

… even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you. — Psalm 139:12

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On this final day of lighting just two candles and focusing on peace, let the light—magnified by the duo of flames—symbolize the heart of peace. By definition, peace is always relational.

            It grows first through your inner connection to self, rooted by holistic internal spiritual, emotional, psychological and bodily wellbeing. Then it turns outward to intimate relationships, and beyond such bonds, to communal networks and systems and how these, ideally, sustain the wellbeing of all people and thus support societal peace. Peace also comprehends the significance of human relationships to the environment and the interdependent, reciprocal nature of people to our world.

            How does the natural world offer you peace? Is it a place where you go to seek sanctuary? Spend time outside for athletics or to seek creative inspiration? Do you find your connection through other wild, living creatures or in natural settings? Choose time in the mountains or near the water? Do you work in the garden? Keep animals? Feed or watch the birds? Hike in the woods? Fish? Go boating or kayaking? Swim? Ski? Play another sport outside? Work outside? Play outside? Learn outside? Volunteer outside?

            Name the ways you interact with the natural world: holy creation. Your home. Humanity’s home.

            Then consider, in what ways do you commit to caring for the environment in your part of the world? By your volunteer hours? Your use of natural spaces? Membership in conservation movements? Personal stewardship choices as a consumer or advocate?

            When you enact your values in the ways you choose to live, including your connection to the natural world and its inhabitants, you engage the spiritual practice of peace-building at a communal, environmental level.

            Light the two candles. Watch how the light grows proportionately when the pair burns together, rather than as a single spark.

            Share your light! — Rev Gail

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Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures. — John F. Kennedy

There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. – Edith Wharton

Advent Daily Devotional: WEEK of PEACE: DAY 13 – Fri, Dec 10

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. — Matthew 5:9

Listen to me, my people, and give heed to me, my nation; for a teaching will go out from me, and my justice
for a light to the peoples. — Isaiah 51:4

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Lighting two candles may be considered an act of creating peace in the community. You kindle flames that generate radiance for everyone in the vicinity.

            At its best, peacebuilding grapples with human rights, economic prosperity, and environmental sustainability. Acknowledging and responding to such issues contributes to your engagement in the world. It fosters the connection between your inner spiritual self and your community-minded actions.

            In this season, do you support a nonprofit or charitable organization that contributes to the overall wellbeing of vulnerable members of your community? Or cares for the sustainability of the natural world? Choosing specific causes to which you give attention, time, and/or resources reflects your values.

            By letting your words and deeds align with your priorities, you implement meaningful change based on those values. You feed your spiritual light as well as fueling light in the wider world. 
— Rev Gail

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You will find peace not by trying to escape your problems, but by confronting them courageously. — J. Donald Walters

Give light and people will find the way. — Ella Baker

Advent Daily Devotional: WEEK of PEACE: DAY 11 – Wed, Dec 8

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. — John 14:27

You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you, and light will shine on your ways. — Job 22:28

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For today, allow the lighting of candles to be an act of naming the blessings in your life. Let it bring awareness of how you can contribute to peace in your own heart and also in your corner of the world.

            As you light each of the candles, name one thing you appreciate. For what are your grateful? Gratitude fosters perspective, which leads to a sense of balance and peace. — Rev Gail

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We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves. — Dalai Lama

No degree of worldly darkness can extinguish the glow of a soul’s inner light. — Wes Fesler

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