Advent 2 - Peace & Justice

Advent '22  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Big Idea: Peace only exists in the absence of injustice.

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Call to Worship

Psalm 72:18-19 “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name forever; may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen.”

Primary Scripture

Isaiah 11:1-10

Kidz Message

Peace Candle

Remind them about Advent (“To-come”)
- Gifts Jesus brings
Light the Hope & Peace Candles
“We light this candle to remember Christ’s gift of peace that corrects injustice and restores broken things”


Move kidz to the floor
- Ask an adult to show me their phone
- snatch it and “move on”
Go sit with the kiddos
- Apologize from a distance
ASK: Do you think we have true peace?
ASK: What do you think I should do?


Peace is not just when we aren’t fighting, it’s when wrongs are made right. That’s why apologies don’t mean anything unless we try to make it better.
In our scripture reading this morning, Ray read Isaiah 11:3-4
Isaiah 11:3–4 (NIV)
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
Jesus came with the gift of true peace. peace that makes things better. You get to receive that gift when you try to make things better too; when you not only say “I’m sorry” but also try your best to make things right.


Dear God,
We are sorry for the things we have done that hurt others. Help us to look, listen, and ask, for how we can make things right,



Slide - ADVENT
Tell about the Constantine transition from persecution to State Support
Some people left for the desert
Some who denied Christ rejoined
Slide - Peace
Today we are talking about Peace, but when Christianity became the State religion, did that create peace?
Tell about the Oneida Nation Exhibit on the Thruway (by exit 33)
A 30-foot pine tree illuminated in white symbolizes the Great White Pine, a symbol of peace and unity among the Oneida people.
Two of the teepees are lit orange, in solidarity for the National Day of Remembrance for the victims and survivors of the Indian Boarding Schools.
The interesting note is that the representation of peace is not possible without the acknowledgement of harm done.
All too often in our culture we aim to apologize and move on forgetting that the real work of peace is not in the admission of fault, but in the restoration of broken things.
True peace only comes after reconciliation, and that requires facing the realities of broken things and doing the hard work of making them right.
The same was true for Christians back in the early days of the church, the same is still true in our national relationship with many minority communities, certainly including indigenous tribes.
Here’s what’s so hard about it. Most of us don;t have any clue how to actually create peace in our lives or in our world.

False Peace

Let’s learn about peace, Jesus’ way. Let’s start with what it’s not.
SLIDE - peace not tranquility
True peace is not tranquility
Tell story by the “peaceful stream”
Explain why “peaceful” isn’t the “peace” Jesus is talking about.
Tranquility is valuable as it is a space for rest and recovery, but if we confuse it for peace then we miss the point.
Just because you can sleep at night doesn’t make what you did right.
Here’s the danger of mistaking calm for peace… Injustice still exists.
[like the example with the kids]
Explain how this happens in church communities (I get mad, I don;t want to cause conflict, so I leave)
Peace is never created through division or avoidance. It’s just turning a mess into a “covered up” mess.
Slide - peace not victory
True peace is not victory
Explain how global political powers use the word “peace” as the absence of war
“We maintain peace through our strength, weakness only invites aggression.” - Ronald Reagan
What nation create through strength is not peace, it is the fear of retaliation. the resentment and anger continue to live on and the wrongs are not necessarily made right
“History is written by the winners”
This is not the kind of peace Christ came with. In fact, Jesus, in response to THIS kind of peace, said,
SCRIPTURE - Matt 10:34
Matthew 10:34 NIV
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
This is the peace that a doctor brings to a body she cuts open to eliminate cancer, or the peace an abuse victim brings by creating a boundary so that their abuser is forced to face their behaviors head on.

True Peace

True peace only comes after reconciliation. When wrongs have been faces and made right. Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the absence of Injustice.
Slide - Big Idea
Big Idea: Peace only exists in the absence of injustice.
Jesus was born into a broken world, and we celebrate his birth because, in part, it was a model of how we can pursue true peace.
Look at what Isaiah said about him...
SCRIPTURE Isaiah 11:4
Isaiah 11:4 NIV
but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
His decisions seek the wellness of those in need
SCRIPTURE Isaiah 11:6
Isaiah 11:6 NIV
The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.
His peace is not generated by power, but results in no tension between the powerful and the powerless.
SCRIPTURE Isaiah 11:9
Isaiah 11:9 NRSV
They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
Peace obtained God’s way requires no violence and spreads wisdom around.
Seeking God’s peace is not about asking God to create peace, but asking for God to reveal injustice to us and asking for God to empower us to correct it without the use of force.
SLIDE - Big Idea
Big Idea: Peace only exists in the absence of injustice.


Slide - Reflection Avoiding
Reflect: What false peace have you created by avoiding conflict?
Do you say “it’s fine” when it really isn’t fine?
Do you enable broken behavior by cleaning up someone else’s mess?
Have you just ghosted relationships without trying to make it right because “it would be too awkward” or “they will never change”?
Slide - Reflection expense
Reflect: What false peace have you created at the expense of your enemy?
Have you used relational blackmail? (married couples using sex as a bargaining tool)
Have other told then that you hurt their feelings and you replied by telling them to just stop being so sensitive.
Have you denied the ways you benefit from past mistakes? I’m looking at you racism conversation.


SLIDE - Peace
The peace Christ brings is true peace, peace that sees the brokenness, and makes it right, not through power, but through self-sacrifice, humility, and love.
Invite someone to become a Christian who wants that kind of peace and wants to join in creating it.




Romans 15:13 (NIV)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
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