One Earth as It is in Heaven, Advent 2
During Advent, we are reminded of the themes of Hope, Love, Peace, and Joy. Review and relate these themes “on earth as it is in heaven” in these weeks preparing for the celebration of Jesus’ birth.
Hope in Scripture is confident expectation. We trust in the Lord and know His promises always come true. Much different than the interpretation of hope in today’s world — a wish with uncertainty, far from the peace and joy, courage, comfort, and confidence believers have with our God of hope.
Jesus’ first two Commandments are about love. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Mat 22:37) “… You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mat 22:39). God has given us the capacity for love; and God is Love. With this truth, “Love never ends…” (1 Cor 13:8). Love gives, love is hopeful, love is trusting, and many more characteristics. It’s not just a feeling, love is action. Feelings of love can be temporary and disappear but true love is shown by what we do.
Peace is a bit more complex. It is a state of being. We see peace as being passive or free of strife, but in the biblical context, it is deeper — relating to living well and having harmonious relationships. Peace with God came through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus promises peace if we follow His commandments.
Joy is a state of mind. With joy, we have contentment, hope, happiness, things that are deep within a person, and long lasting. God gives us joy as a response, a reward, and our strength. As believers, we can experience spiritual and secular joys, though not mutually exclusive. Secular joy is simply an unexpected benefit from God which is heightened by our spiritual joy.
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