This Sunday churches across the UK will be lighting the second candle of the Advent wreath – the candle of Peace.

When we look at our world today we see nations at war with each other, we see racial conflicts and social injustices, we see poverty, hatred and unrest  –  all these things remind us why we need to light a candle of Peace.

But, as we light the candle of Peace and pray for peace in our world and our communities we also remember the prophets who spoke of the coming of Christ. 

We remember those who foretold us of how a God would come into our world, as a baby in a manger and a king in the line of David.

In Isaiah 9:6 the prophet Isaiah called Christ the ‘Prince of Peace’ and told us that

He would come to bring peace and bless the nations. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace

The child in the manger, whose birth we will celebrate in a few weeks time is coming to bring us peace.  He is coming to teach us the importance of being peacemakers.

In fact, one day Jesus will say,  "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God," (Matthew, 5:9) simply stating that sons and daughters of God are in fact peacemakers.

We light the candle of Peace to remind us that Jesus is the Prince of Peace and that through him peace is found.

Peace is like a light shining in a dark place.

Being a peacemaker today is seeking to do what God has done, loving people with His love and speaking God’s peace to the people in the midst of conflicts and difficult situations.

Hundreds of peacemakers love and share God’s peace in tough places through many Church Urban Fund supported projects up and down the country. 

Lewis runs one of these projects. He received funding from our Near Neighbours programme to run a project that brought together men in Birmingham to play football. In the first sessions of the project there was real hostility and even racial abuse. By the end of the project this had gone completely and friendships had been built. It really changed things in the community.

On the second Sunday in Advent as the candle of Peace is lit in your church give thanks to God for sending Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace to us and remember that God is calling you to follow on Jesus’ footsteps and become a peacemaker too. 

Look out for more reflections to come through out Advent and see week one here.