Seasonal Reflection: Advent, 2014

Reflecting on Peace

Advent—ad venire—to come. The simple meaning of Advent is to come or coming. And who is coming? At this time of year, we Christians believe it is Jesus. And how do we prepare for one who is coming when that one is Jesus? Is running around like crazy, shopping, decorating, writing cards, cooking and baking the way to prepare? Is all this frenetic behavior what Jesus wants of us? I certainly can’t speak for Jesus, but I suspect not. Besides, Jesus is already here, so what is this “coming” really about?

Advent is the beginning of a new liturgical year. It is the coming of a new cycle in the calendar of our faith. Much like January 1st, the beginning of the secular calendar’s new year, Advent is an opportunity to resolve to do better than we did in the past. It is a time to commit to love more, to forgive more, to serve more, to pray more. Advent is a time to pledge to stand up and speak out more for peace and justice—for the impoverished, the sick and disabled, the aged, for victims of war and occupation, for environmental refugees, the imprisoned, tortured, trafficked, and enslaved, for all those who need our voice because their own is silenced. 

Advent is not just about Jesus’ coming, but our coming, too, our coming into a world that needs us to be Jesus for others. Come. Be present, not a present to be bought and wrapped, but present as one who cares, listens, comforts, and supports. My guess is Jesus will be very pleased and grateful.



Come, long-expected Jesus. 
Excite in me a wonder at the wisdom and power of our God. 
Receive my prayer as part of my service to the One
who enlists me in God's own work for justice. 

Come, long-expected Jesus. 
Excite in me a hunger for peace: peace in the world, 
peace in my home, peace in myself. 

Come, long-expected Jesus. 
Excite in me a joy responsive to God’s joy. 
I seek God’s will so I can serve with gladness, singing and love. 

Come, long-expected Jesus. 
Excite in me the joy and love and peace 
it is right to bring to the manger of my Savior.

Raise in me, too, 
sober reverence for the God who acted there, 
hearty gratitude for the life begun there, 
and spirited resolution to serve. 

I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, 
whose advent I hail.


adapted from



Suggested Actions


    - Make at least one Advent resolution in the spirit of the reflection above.

    - Use Pax Christi USA’s Advent Reflection booklet, Waking Up to God in Our Midst, to enhance your prayer life this season. You can order a hard copy while supplies last or order an electronic version at the PCUSA website,

    - When you do shop, especially for children, think about the gifts you buy. Check out PCMNY’s anti-war toy flier. Feel free to make copies, post, distribute, and give to your favorite retailers. Please use the letter for schools and businesses, too.


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