Good afternoon! Our Advent Devotional for today was written by our very own Bill Nunez, who serves as the Vice Chancellor of Finance & Administration and our Chief Financial Officer. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Bill since he joined our community a few years ago, and I can’t think of a time when I saw him that I wasn’t greeted with the most warm and genuine smile. Always a kind and affirming word to offer, for me Bill is one of the kindest and most authentic people I have had the privilege of working with at TCU. His calm and steady presence invites others around him to be at PEACE, which is precisely why I asked him to write this devotional. I have no doubt his words will also instill within you a spirit of PEACE during this season of Advent.
“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to all on whom his favor rests.”
I feel privileged to be writing the devotional for this week of Advent with a message of Peace – the second candle on the Advent wreath. In preparing for this devotional, I needed to relearn the symbolism! This candle is called the “Bethlehem Candle, to remind us of Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem before Mary gave birth to Jesus.” And to remind us that with the “division, destruction, and dispersion of [God’s] kingdom in the Old Testament” the birth of our Savior Jesus may bring peace on Earth.
It’s so easy in today’s world for this message to get lost. Watching the news any given day and seeking a message of peace is hard, if not impossible, to find. If you are like me, given the level of unrest and suffering all around, many times I even question if peace on earth is even possible. More personally and individually, peace is seemingly more and more elusive as stress creeps into our daily lives through pressures related to work, family, financial, or all-around overscheduled lives.
The beauty of Advent is it allows us to stop and refocus our minds on the actual purpose of the season and give our problems, fears, and anxieties to God, placing our trust in His goodness. While this is way easier said than done, solace and peace can come when we invite God’s spirit into our hearts.
So, as we prepare for the arrival of our Savior, let’s perhaps challenge ourselves to stop, if even for a short time, to find silent moments to read His word, listen for His guidance, and pray for His peace. Importantly, with this reflection, know that it is His will and not our own that determines our path.
Let us pray.
Lord, help us to calm the noise, slow down, and find peace in our hearts. Grant us the wisdom to know our limits and help us to balance the pressures of the world with the joy of knowing we can turn to You. Let us, in this season and beyond, strive to be more like You. Above all, help us remember the birth of our Savior and the peace He came to bring us all. Amen.