Advent Study 2020

Sharing Our Stories: December 21

Writer’s Name: Kris Schonewolf

Writer’s Ministry:  Prayer

Assigned Text:  Micah 5:2-3

Word of the Week: Peace

Peace.  It can be our Rock, our stronghold. Or it can seem elusive, even ethereal.  Just when we think we have it all together, it can vanish like a wisp of smoke.

It was August 2003 and my baby girl had just had a beautiful fairy-tale church wedding. Then she and her new husband jetted off to Boston for their 2nd year of college.  The world was in order.  Little did I know that on their wedding night her beat her.  And the next day. And the next day. And the next day.  I found out 7 months later about the severe and myriad forms of abuse she had been enduring day after day.  My world, my peace, was shattered.   While we were in the throes of trying to get her back home, my older daughter was raped at knifepoint as she got off work one night.  If there was any peace left, the last strand snapped.  Life became a blur, and I was helpless.  It seemed like nothing I tried to do helped, but often made things worse. 

I had only met Jesus as my Savior, my Rock, just 4 years earlier at age 38.  Just a year earlier I received my calling into ordained ministry and was in school to prepare for my new calling.  When things couldn’t get any worse, Jesus, the Prince of Peace, broke into my broken world with the presence of perfect Shalom.  While peace can be shattered, broken, or temporary, shalom is whole, complete, and permanent, and includes health, safety, and well-being.  

While it was the plan of the enemy to kill, steal and destroy the peace and safety of my daughters, the enemy also had a target on my faith and my calling.  They each had to choose how they would move forward, and I had to choose how I would move forward.  I chose JESUS.  I chose to embrace the Prince of Shalom, who alone could heal my heart.  I chose to forgive the perpetrators, because it’s the only way I could be set free from the horrific events of that year.  

This Advent, and all year long, choose shalom.  Choose forgiveness.  Choose to live under the power and presence of the beautiful Holy Spirit, who indwells you and fills you with resurrection power to defeat anything the enemy hurls against you. 

Daily Prayer:  Papa God, I choose Peace.  Let Your Shalom wash over my mind, my heart, and my circumstances.  Show me to appropriate the resurrection power that you have inside me – to live the victorious and abundant life Jesus has promised.  It’s in His Name I pray.  

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  1. What is disturbing your peace?  Bring it to Jesus and ask Him to show you how to appropriate His perfect Shalom in your situation.
  2. Who do you need to forgive in order to experience the perfect Shalom of Jesus? 
  3. How can the peace you carry affect the atmosphere of your home? Your church?  Carry the peace of God in a way that shifts the atmosphere and lets people know there is a God.

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