The Wonderful Season of Advent December 6,2020 - December 12, 2020 - PEACE

 By Marilyn Okoye (Originally Published on 11/23/2020.  Modified, 12/7/2020)

A Prayer for Peace:  In these tumultuous times, I pray for peace. I ask in Jesus' name that we have peace in our homes, on our jobs, in our government, and in this world.  Amen.

In this pandemic or any pandemic, mental health issues tend to rise.  Untimely deaths, fear of contracting the virus, economic downturn, widespread job loss, financial hardships,  isolation, and lack of consistent, accurate information have turned many of our lives upside down.  This level of despair could lead to depression and anxiety.  But there is hope.  One's belief  in God can have a positive impact on one's physical and mental health.  A God-centered relationship will help you focus on reading your bible, prayer, and gratitude.  While this pandemic has many of us in closed doors, you can still connect with your faith-based community via social media for Sunday service and weekly bible study and video chats and phone calls for prayer.  Also, gather with those in your home to celebrate the season of Advent.

Preparing for Advent starts by placing a wreath (real or artificial) in a central area, usually the dining table.  Place three purple candles and one pink candle around the wreath and a white candle in the center.  The wreath represents God and his endless love and mercy towards us and our hope in Him.  The candle lighting symbolizes the light of God coming into the world through Jesus Christ.  The first purple candle represents HOPE, and the other purple candles represent LOVE and PEACE.  The pink candle represents JOY.  On the first Sunday, light one purple candle representing our hope in the Son of God.  On the subsequent Sunday, light the two purple candles.  Pray and read scriptures focused on peace.  On the third Sunday, light all the purple candles, with the focus on love.  The following Sunday, light the pink candle pray to express the joy we have in Jesus.  On Christmas day, all the candles are lighted, including the white candle representing Christ's birth. 

Celebrating Advent in the home allows for a time of unity because everyone can participate. This week's focus is on peace. There is a popular prayer that asks God to grant us wisdom, peace, and understanding, to accept what we cannot change and the courage to change what we can.  This week as you read the recommended readings, it is my sincere hope that you will find peace during this pandemic and that you are, or become physically, emotionally, mentally, and most importantly spiritually well.  

Recommended Readings December 6, 2020 - December 12, 2020 Peace

 Isaiah 9:6 NIV

Psalm 122:7 NIV

Romans 5:1 NIV

John 14:27 NIV

II Thessalonians 3:16 NIV

If you believe that you may experiencing depression and anxiety, call 911, your counselor, or your primary care physician. You can also click this link for information on mental wellness.


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