The Fourth Day of Advent: Peace
“A sword shall pierce through your own soul also.” Luke 2:34
What does a sword have to do with peace? In his book, Mary for the Evangelicals, Tim Perry wrestles with the meaning of the sword. I always took this to mean that Mary would feel the natural, motherly pain of watching her Son die on the Cross. She did, of course, but it goes much deeper. Perry writes, “His mission (as the Savior of the world) could not be restrained by natural bonds. This was going to be a source of great pain”, the pain of a sword passing through her. When Mary surrendered herself to the will of God, she didn’t fully grasp the cost. Whether she understood His mission or not (for a long time she didn’t), He answered only to the will of His Father. Mary served the purpose for which she was called. She was the vessel through which God came to earth and that is the highest privilege any human being can have. The sword, then, represents the true cost of surrender to the will of God. It will mean something different for each one of us.
As an adult near the end of His ministry, Jesus promises His followers the gift of peace: “27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14. He was facing the agony of the Cross, and yet He could speak of peace. His peace thrives in pain and suffering because its origin is heavenly. That peace is ours today and every day if we are willing to surrender.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1