Second Sunday in Advent

2nd-candle

2022 Second Sunday of Advent December 4

Waiting on PEACE

Reader #1: Our waiting continues. In this second week of Advent, we stand in the middle of our journey toward Christmas.

[Alternative for a younger reader: It’s almost here. Only three more weeks until Christmas.]

Reader #2: As we have waited we have experienced the presence of the One for whom we wait. God’s presence brings peace.

Reader #3: We have placed ourselves in the posture of God’s people of the Old Testament, groaning for their Messiah. This is one of the promises that kept their faith strong: 
Isaiah 9:6 says, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

All gathered sing: O Come, O Come Emmanuel, verse 2:

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, come; free
thine own from evil tyranny;
from depths of hell thy people save; and give them victory o’er the grave;

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel

Reader #1: Jesus was born into a time of turmoil. The slaughter of the innocents is a dark stain on the Christmas story. Herod, threatened by the birth of the child people are calling a king, ordered the murder of all male children in and around Bethlehem aged two and under.

Reader #2: We can hardly comprehend it. Like so many atrocities taking place around the world today, the powerful are threatened and the innocent die.

Reader #3: But God promises that one day, the fighting
will end. That those who fight will “beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” May we all live as the peacemakers of the world.

Lighting of the Candle

Reader #1: We light this candle of Peace for every child of God who has lost their families, their homes and their innocence to war and political unrest.

All: We light these candles as people who long for Jesus and the peace of God for ourselves, our families and communities and for the whole world.

Reader #2: Prayer God of Peace,

This Advent, we wait for the birth of the Christ-Child, the Prince of Peace. And we wait for Jesus’ coming again in glory when swords will become plowshares. We pray for those who live in conflict, that they will be protected. We pray for the situations that create conflict, that they will be resolved peacefully. We pray especially for the children, who are hurt the most by conflict, protect them and bring caring adults alongside them to care for them. Show us how we can be peacemakers in our own relationships, our own families and workplaces, and in the world. Help us to be blessed as peacemakers in your name, Amen.