Prayer from Anglican Book of Common Prayer (2019)
Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us. As we are sorely hindered by our sins from running the race that is set before us, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us, through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and forever, Amen.
In the beginning was the Word. All things were made by him. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Sin had come into the world through one man, Adam, and the death the results from sin became part of human nature, severing the relationship with God that leads to peace. But God made a way. A child would be born for us. A Son would be given to us. And he would be named Prince of Peace. And He, Himself is our peace. Wholly God and wholly human, he reconciled us to God, preaching peace while enduring the consequences of our sin in our place. Through Jesus we have access in the Spirit to the Father, not by our acts of righteousness, but according to the mercy and grace of God.a remix of verses from John, 1 John, Romans, Isaiah, Ephesians, and Titus
Peace between people is impossible until we have peace with God. The Incarnation, Emmanuel, God with us paves our only path to peace with God and with each other. The Law could not reconcile us; the Law could only illustrate how hopelessly broken we are. In Jesus, we are reconciled to the Father and in that relationship we dwell in peace. Simeon and Anna both saw the infant Jesus and knew that the promise of the Messiah was with them. Simeon held the baby and prayed, “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, You now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles , and the glory of your people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32). The Son was given, the child born, and He would be our peace. We can live in peace with others because God has made a way of peace for us. The Prince of Peace rules our hearts and minds and souls in love.
Peace comes in confidence and assurance in things unseen; this world is not our home. By faith we join with those who have gone before us, and they are now the witnesses to our lives as we pursue peace among people. We look to Jesus as we purposefully disentangle from the sin that persists as long as we live. We look beyond this life, as Simeon did, to an unshakeable kingdom. Our faith is not in people or governments or education or influence; our faith is in Jesus. His love is perfected in us both now and into eternity. The promise of salvation is fulfilled in the Incarnation. Our peace rests in the fulness of His grace upon grace.