This week we seek peace. Not just any peace; not the peace the world has to offer:
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful (John 14:27 NASB).
This time of year can be very overwhelming, and finding quiet time is challenging. My resolve for the Advent Journal and in shaping my theology of thanksgiving, is not only to find quiet again, but to know Christ deeper.
I desire my time with Christ to be more Eucharistic. The word for thankful in the Greek is eucharistĕō (eucaristeo), and it means, grateful, feel thankful, give thanks. It is the word in which Eucharist is derived and is used 37 times in the New Testament (NAS); the most familiar is 1 Cor. 11:24:
“And when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
Remember Him. Remember Him. This Advent season is also a time to remember and give thanks for all that He has done and all that He is going to do in our lives. I need to be more thankful. I need quiet. I need peace.
I have been reading in my devotional time the practice of Quaker Silence and it is intriguing to me. I have read about the quiet contemplation of the monastic traditions and the Desert Fathers, in antiquity and modernity, and the silence that brings peace, but the Quaker silence moves a small step further:
“This gathered worship, as Quakers call it, is not about the absence of noise. Gathered worship
springs from the reverent, silent expectation that God will come among the people. Instead of silent worship, a better term might be expectant worship. Or Waiting worship. We expect to hear God, and we gather to wait for the Divine voice to breakthrough. We don’t worship the silence. The silence is just the means by which we find ourselves brought together in community and our souls lifted to God.”
This week I am going to create sacred space; space to rest and quiet my mind and soul so that I may turn my heart and thoughts toward God, and out of the quiet, receive His peace.
Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain (Ps. 119:35-36 NIV).
For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8:5-8 NASB).
As we await the Advent of the Christ Child, prepare your heart as well for the Peace that is only from the Prince of Peace.
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6 NASB).
To read the entire Advent Journal click here:
 J. Brent Bill, Holy Silence: The Gift Of Quaker Spirituality (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2016), 83.