Peace on Earth: A 5-Day Advent Devotional

Day 5 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Today, we’re reading Philippians 4:1-9. Of all the passages in this devotional, this might seem like the most off-topic for Christmas, but it gives us a window into what this peace looks like lived out in our communities.


We don’t know exactly what the disagreement between Euodia and Syntyche was about, but the resolution of their conflict and the restoration of unity in their church is important enough to Paul that he takes the time to address them specifically in this public letter to the church.


Once Paul has encouraged these women to resolve their conflict, he turns back to preaching to the whole church, but that little tangent shows us something about the next few verses: they aren’t just for people who have it all together.


God’s peace isn’t just for people who have no worries, disagreements, stress, and struggles. God’s peace walks right into the middle of our mess.


So what do we do with our stress or conflicts this Christmas?


Begin by rejoicing in God. There might not be joy in your circumstances, and that’s okay. Look at Jesus to find enduring joy.


Ask God to help you be gracious to those around you. God has shown us incredible grace and forgiveness, and remembering that helps us to show grace and forgiveness to others.


Bring everything that’s on your mind to God—the stuff that keeps you from sleeping at night, the stuff that makes you excited to get up in the morning, and the stuff that fills the time in between.


That last verse in this paragraph isn’t something we do. It’s something God does. As we pursue peace with others and as we come to him with our prayers and our thanks, he comforts us with peace that “surpasses all understanding”—crazy, irrational, wonderful peace.